Brooklyn police officers are at the center of an internal affairs investigation after an activist group posted a video on Facebook of them pushing a pregnant woman to the ground.
The video, posted by a group committed to raising awareness of police abuse, shows an officer forcing a visibly pregnant Sandra Amezquita face down on the pavement after she and other family members tried to intervene in the arrest of her 17-year-old son, Jhohan Lemos, on a weapons charge, according to the New York Post.
The events preceding the officers’ decision to restrain Amezquita were not captured in the Facebook video.
Amezquita suffered physical injuries, Dennis Flores, spokesperson for the El Grito de Sunset Park group that posted the video, told WABC-TV.
“Her belly is now with black-and-blue bruises,” Flores said. “She’s bleeding and she’s having complications.”
The video also shows police pushing away a second unidentified woman, who rolled on the ground.
“You broke her arm!” the man shooting the video yelled at the police, according to the footage. “Yo, that’s your badge!”
The Post cites law enforcement sources who said that charges were filed against Lemos for criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and harassment.
His father, Ronel Lemos, 50, was also charged with resisting arrest and harassment. He faces additional charges of assault on a police officer and obstructing governmental administration.
Charges were also filed against Secundino Payamps, 46, for assault on a police officer, harassment, and obstruction of governmental administration. His relationship to the Lemoses and Amezquita is unknown.
Amezquita was issued a summons for disorderly conduct, the New York Daily News reported, describing the Columbian émigré as 5-foot-4-inches tall and five months pregnant.
The officers, who were from the 72nd precinct, said they were attacked by the parents while arresting Jhohan Lemon, but the family said they were defending their son from officers who were beating him.
The melee took place a week after another video, reportedly taken by the same man, captured an officer from the same precinct kicking a street vendor.
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