The NYPD is facing more cries of police abuse after an advocacy group released photos on Monday of a police officer appearing to place a seven-month pregnant woman in an illicit chokehold.
The same procedure, which is banned under NYPD rules, was used on 43-year-old Staten Island resident Eric Garner by a police officer shortly before Garner’s death. The abuse allegations in the Garner case led to a national outrcry and the officer in question being stripped of his gun and badge pending an investigation.
The advocacy group People Organizing and Working for Empowerment and Respect released the photos of 27-year-old Rosan Miller being restrained by police while she was being arrested for disorderly conduct on Saturday.
“[She was] grilling, BBQ, in front of her home,” said former city councilman and current assembly candidate Charles Barron. “Not committing any crimes.”
Barron pointed out that the woman was arrested in front of her 7-year-old daughter. He also blamed New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and the city’s “broken windows” policing policy of rigorously enforcing minor offenses for the latest incidents. Garner died after an arrest for illegally selling cigarettes.
On Monday, Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio defended those “broken windows” policing practices while discussing other reforms they plan to implement in the wake of Garner’s death.
"I can understand why any New Yorker may say, that's not such a big offense," de Blasio said of policing of minor offenses. "But a violation of the law is a violation of the law."
The New York Times reported on Monday that arrests of subway performers had more than quadrupled this year as part of an NYPD campaign to clamp down on these smaller violations.
Councilwoman Inez Barron called for reforms to the chokehold regulations that would result in firings if those policies are violated. As the New York Observer reports, Barron says that of 1,000 such complaints against officers submitted to the NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, only nine had been confirmed. The harshest punishment, Barron says, was a loss of vacation time.