CROWN HEIGHTS — One day after Police Commissioner Bill Bratton shared “strong concerns” over the videotaped arrest of a uniformed postal worker in Crown Heights, the leader of the city’s largest police union is telling him to reserve judgement “until all the facts are in.”
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, warned the public of rushing to judgment when viewing footage of any police action, specifically calling out the commissioner for publicly commenting on the video of the March 17 arrest of 27-year-old postal worker Glenn Grays.
“Video-taping police encounters usually results in a rush to judgment by people who have no first-hand information about what transpired. Everyone, including the Police Commissioner, should withhold public comment until all the facts are in,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday.
Lynch added that “no one ever has the right to resist arrest.”
“Regardless of how one feels about being stopped, once told that they are being placed under arrest, they must comply with the officer’s orders,” he said of the video, which shows Grays being cuffed and led away by four cops after he allegedly told them off for nearly hitting him in an unmarked police car while he was working.
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On Tuesday, Bratton said the four officers involved in Grays’ arrest have been removed from their regular duties until an investigation of the incident is complete, then added that based on “various videos” he reviewed of the arrest, he has “strong concerns about the charge against the individual.”
In a radio interview the same day and on Twitter, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — who released the arrest video with Grays by his side last week — called on the NYPD to make all video of the incident public; his office said Wednesday they believe the department has surveillance video of the arrest.
“The full video should be made available publicly. We should not do what Chicago did and hold onto the video,” Adams told Brian Lehrer on WNYC, referring to the uproar over video of the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
“We should let the entire public know what happened,” Adams said.
The police department did not immediately respond to an inquiry about additional footage of the March 17 incident.
Grays, an East New York resident, faces a summons for disorderly conduct stemming from the arrest. Speaking to WNYC Tuesday, he said he would like to see “justice” in the case.
“I would like disciplinary action to be taken against the officers,” he said, adding that an “apology” from the city would be appreciated.
“I was born here. I’m from Brooklyn. I was raised here. I deliver mail here. I love my community. I love doing my job. Everybody thanks me when I hand them they mail,” he said. “I’m not asking for anything. I’m just asking for justice.”