CROWN HEIGHTS — Three officers and a lieutenant caught on video arresting an on-duty postal worker in Crown Heights earlier this month have been removed from their normal posts as the NYPD investigates the incident, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday.
The four officers arrested 27-year-old Glenn Grays while he was delivering packages along President Street near Franklin Avenue on March 17 after the policemen nearly hit Grays with their unmarked police car as he tried to cross the street, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who released a passerby’s video of Grays' arrest last week.
The NYPD has already said the incident is under review. But on Tuesday, Bratton expanded on that, saying that the Internal Affairs Bureau is looking to figure out a rationale for the arrest, about which he has “strong concerns,” particularly surrounding why the four cops — assigned to a conditions unit whose members usually work in uniform — were in plainclothes.
“For what purpose? Who authorized it?” he asked. “I’m very interested in the charge that was made against this individual, what [Grays] was arrested for. The validity of that, based on what I’ve witnessed on various videos that I’ve reviewed now, I have strong concerns about the charge against the individual.”
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As the investigation continues, the three officers and the lieutenant have been removed from the conditions unit, Bratton said. The department is also reviewing the actions of the booking officer at the 71st Precinct station house, he added.
“I’m very concerned that a U.S. postal truck was left unsecured, double-parked on a major thoroughfare in the city of New York,” he said. “I’m very concerned about the performance of the officers, about the leadership role of the lieutenant involved and about the processing of the arrest at the precinct station house.”
In a television interview on Monday, Grays said he believes “the only thing that ... saved me was that it was on videotape.”
“I was extremely terrified. I was afraid if I didn’t comply, something was going to happen to me,” he told CBS This Morning.
Grays, an East New York resident, faces a summons for disorderly conduct stemming from the arrest. In the interview, he said he hopes the officers involved will be disciplined, but not fired.
“I don’t want them to be jobless because they might have family, kids they need to support,” he said.