Police Abuse

Another Brutal NYPD Arrest Caught on Tape, This Time for Petty Marijuana Possession

|

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the star of yet another cellphone video of an arrest that may have involved excessive force. You can watch the chaotic scene, with officers meeting resistance not just from their target but residents in the area too, below:

What did the man on the ground do to attract all those cops toward him to effect an arrest? This is your drug war. He was allegedly seen with a little bit of marijuana (something New York's progressive apologists insist has been decriminalized in the city). PIX 11 provides details:

Police say officers in Bedford Stuyvesant saw 32-year-old Jahmiel Cuffee in possession of a small amount of marijuana on Tuesday night in front of 223 Malcolm X Blvd. The video picks up after an officer asks Cuffee for ID. He hands over the ID, but resists arrest.  One officer pulls his gun, but once they get Cuffee to the ground, it gets worse.

In the video, an officer is seen walking away, then coming back and making a motion with his foot.

"He abruptly stomped on top of the gentleman's head," said Gary Dormer, who recorded what happened on his cell phone. "He lifted his foot with excessive force and came down like he was stepping on an ant or a roach or something at the time."

new york's finest
Facebook

To the cops' credit, none of them appeared to try to confiscate any of the cellphones recording the scene, although it's possible they would've been unable to even if they tried. The NYPD says Cuffee was injured during the arrest, but not on his head and that it is at least his eighth arrest for marijuana.

Community activists demand the cop who allegedly head-stomped Cuffee be removed from the job because the "officer cannot represent our community and work for us if he's going to violate people's rights." New York City's police abuse problem is inextricably linked to its policing priorities. So long as appearing tough on crime (read: drugs, especially in minority communities) wins votes for the Democrats in charge of the city no amount of agitation may be enough to change things. If you keep voting for the same people pushing the same policies you'll keep getting the same results, even if your rhetoric insists you support something else. There is no "right way" to arrest someone for possessing marijuana because it's not something police should be arresting people for.

Advertisement

NEXT: Rand Paul: Republicans Can Only Win if "They Become More Live and Let Live"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m almost to the point of thinking the people should drag these cops out of their precincts and hang them.

    1. Almost?

      A lot of people are way ahead of you…

  2. To the cops’ credit, none of them appeared to try to confiscate any of the cellphones recording the scene, although it’s possible they would’ve been unable to even if they tried.

    It’s also possible that they no longer give a shit about hiding it because they know there’s no consequences to be faced.

    1. Because fuck you, that’s why.

    2. Yep. Worst case scenario this department truthfully says he doesn’t work for them anymore, as he is quietly transferred to another department.

      And nothing else happens.

    3. Well there is always the chance that he might face a paid vacation over this.

      1. Whoa! That’s harsh. He might go on a hunting or fishing trip. Maybe take a week in Vegas. What kind of country do we live in where we do that to a cop?

  3. Sadly, there are going to be non-cops who reflexive respond that Cuffee deserved this.

    Fuck the War on Drugs. It’s evil.

  4. Hey, Y’all, let’s call it a night? It being the Sacred Sabbath and all, Ah will now lead us all in Sacred Prayers?
    (GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers, and
    SHAMM = Statist Heaven Above Mere Mortals)
    Our GAWD, Who dwells in SHAMM,
    Hallowed be Thy Name;
    Thy Taxes come in,
    Thy Bennies go out,
    All across the land,
    Powered by Thy Wrath.
    Give us more bread and circuses,
    More military crusades,
    And more stimulus funds.
    Keep us safe from earpoppers
    And lung flutes. Lead us not into
    Disobedience, but shelter us through
    Your Nannies. Forgive us
    When we are politically incorrect.
    For Yours is the Power and the Glory
    of the Pyramind Scheme, Forever and Ever,
    Amen!
    (This Worship Session brought to you by the Church of Scienfoology; see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ )

    1. Scienfoology Song? GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

      Government loves me, This I know,
      For the Government tells me so,
      Little ones to GAWD belong,
      We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      My Nannies tell me so!

      GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
      Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
      Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
      And gives me all that I might need!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      My Nannies tell me so!

      DEA, CIA, KGB,
      Our protectors, they will be,
      FBI, TSA, and FDA,
      With us, astride us, in every way!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
      My Nannies tell me so!

      1. That church of Sqrls website has me a little worried about you.

        1. You mean the posts here weren’t doing it?

          1. Based on the posts here, Sqrlsy One isn’t that much nuttier than several other posters here.

          2. The posts were, but that website is a whole different animal.

            1. Well… yeah.

            2. that website is a whole different animal

              A GRBL?

          3. NOT enough {{{{}}}}BRACKETS!

            1. Need more Hercule.

  5. I jumped up from the computer with this story on the screen. I come back to see my girlfriend, aghast, reading the article. She turns to me with a shocked look and declares, This is disgusting!

    Yep.

    1. Wait until your girlfriend reads about Warty. 🙂

  6. Sadly, if there is not going to be outrage leading to change over the guy who was murdered over selling black market cigarettes then this is probably not going to cause even a ripple.

    1. He wasn’t murdered for selling black market smokes, he was killed for failure to obey. It always boils down to failure to obey.

      1. We owe it to our overlords to obey. There’s that clause in the social contract which states that insubordination to government enforcers warrants death.

      2. Don’t look ’em in the eyes. It agitates them.

      3. But the excuse they give to the voters is: ‘the person must obey because we are protecting you from ___.”

        If that blank is ‘guy selling cigarettes’ and that doesn’t cause people to march on city hall, then nothing will.

        1. Look at how many people think cigarettes are evil. What do you think is driving the attempts to ban e-cigs?

        2. The blank doesn’t matter.

  7. it is at least his eighth arrest for marijuana.

    Fuckity, fuck fuck.

    1. Right? How is this guy walking free and not swinging from a tree?

    2. This is why a lot of non-cops will have no sympathy for the guy. I had Packer fan friends say Johnny Jolly deserved whatever he got for his second purple drank arrest.

      1. Maybe you should shop around for new “friends”.

        1. I’m sure fans of other teams would be just as dickish when it comes to the War on Drugs. Most of them are good when it comes to football. Although, one of the posters is a cop and he’s unsurprisingly the biggest dickwad of them all.

  8. For a lot of these sorts of videos I tend to mute the sound so I don’t have to listen to ignorant opinions delivered ebonically. It’s a good thing the victim wasn’t in a position to offer his thoughts on philosophy and justice or I’d have an even harder time flipping the sympathy switch.

    1. I’m going to assume good faith and just ask, “huh?”

      1. You’re being exceedingly generous. If having sympathy for victims of injustice is conditional on that criteria, and if they mute the sound not because the sounds in these sorts of videos are disturbing but because of Ebonics, than I’d say your good faith is not deserved.

    2. Come on, I know I’m supposed to be mad at the cops, but they were great.

      I got a cousin who’s a Sheriff

  9. The best media correction *ever* –

    http://thinkprogress.org/immig…..-children/

    1. Sheesh. Journalism at work: we find a story trashing someone we don’t like with a, frankly, amazing claim. We don’t bother to check it out, we just assume it’s true.

      1. It just feels true, ya know?

        1. Rep. Bachmann (R-MN) never made the statement. We sincerely regret the error.

          No, you regret that you were caught. You would be happy to libel all of your ideological opponents if there were no consequences for doing so.

          1. I’m gonna bet this wasn’t featured on the home page, but the web equivalent of Pg10, under the fold.

            1. In a slideshow.

  10. No one will care; it’s Bed-Sty. That is the sad reality.

    1. Did he even ride his motorcycle in the rain?

      1. Yep, right into somebody’s house.

      2. You may be right…

    2. No one will care; it’s Bed-Sty America. That is the sad reality.

  11. AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.

    So it’s all good.

    Seriously, I do not know what is wrong with you people. YOU WANT THE TERRRRRZZZZSSTTSZ TO WIN? HUH?!!

    Also, fuck tha police.

  12. Wait, who were they protecting and serving?

    1. The public, so, at that moment, everyone but that guy.

  13. How To Recognize Intellectual Dishonesty-101

    1. Arrogance

    Assumption of authority in the matter; assuming they already have all knowledge needed to draw conclusions. Presumes to greater credentials than their audience*

    2. Handwaving

    Dismisses rebuttals. Puts words in other people’s mouths. Misstates opposing arguments.

    3. Inconsistency

    Refusal to acknowledge their own previous statements / pretending they said otherwise

    4. Ignores direct questions

    Either does not respond, or tries to change the subject when questioned

    5. Employing double standards

    Sets high bar for ‘proof’ of opposing views. Considers own points ‘self evident’.

    6. Argumentum ad hominem

    Needs not be ‘insulting’. Merely insinuating that critics lack public credibility or hold secret, repugnant views

    7. Staw Men *and lots of them!

    Constantly claiming victory against arguments no one actually made

    8. Pretends to engage in ‘critical thinking’

    Yet restrict themselves to extremely narrow sources; quotes opponents out of context ; ignores further information that changes their own quote/data/citation

    9. Never admit to any error, on any point, ever

    It was a ‘misunderstanding’. Probably yours.

    ———-

    Does this sound familiar? If so, its possible you’re not a Real Libertarian!

    1. You’re just a secret Republican if you can’t appreciate my genius.

  14. But no one is ever arrested for marijuana. Bill O’Reilly said so.

    1. “But no one is ever arrested for marijuana. Bill O’Reilly said so.”

      In quite a few places, this is true if you’re white, not doing anything a cop doesn’t find obnoxious, whine in the proper fashion, etc.
      Which is totally irrelevant. THE DAMN COP SHOULD NOT HAVE THE OPTION OF ARRESTING YOU FOR TOKING A BLUNT.

      1. It’s not like smoking marijuana is something innocuous and acceptable. Like a cop binging on steroids, and other rage/performance enhancing drugs.

  15. “Under the first four months of Bill de Blasio’s “Liberal Agenda,” the NYPD has arrested 80 people each day for low-level marijuana possession, slightly higher than the average of 78 arrests per day in 2013, and nearly nine times what they were when Bill Bratton served his first term as police commissioner in 1994.

    …At a City Council hearing last month, Commissioner Bratton seemed unfamiliar with current New York State law that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana, and asserted that low-level marijuana arrests were down under his command, yet this data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services disproves that statement.”

    1. …”Commissioner Bratton seemed unfamiliar with current New York State law that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana,”…

      Ain’t his kid that gets strong-armed by the cops; why should he care?
      And the kids parents will vote the D ticket next time anyhow; fuck ’em.

      1. I swear to you = if i ever brought this up with proggy colleagues of mine (and I dont), the answer would predictably be =

        “This is all still the fault of Giuliani”

        right. 20 years later.

        Basically, NYC’s version of = BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

    2. @ Gilmore….

      Please check the link below. Marijuana (unfortunately) is still illegal in NY. There is a difference between decriminalization and legalization. The police will follow the law says. I, for one, can’t wait for legalization and less intrusions to people’s everyday lives.

      http://nypost.com/2014/01/07/c…..sion-plan/

      1. Yet the public prosecutor said he won’t prosecute these kind of cases, so the cops are wasting time and money, and could be going after real criminals that might end up in jail, instead of someone like this that won’t be prosecuted. It just shows how little the police care about the people, it’s all about keeping their power.

        1. Real criminals are dangerous, and unlike druggies the cops can’t steal their property. So there’s absolutely no incentive to go after them. And it shows when you look at the statistics. Police have a very poor record at solving crimes with actual victims. Of course that makes sense. They aren’t going to solve that which they never investigate.

  16. Community activists demand the cop who allegedly head-stomped Cuffee be removed from the job because the “officer cannot represent our community and work for us if he’s going to violate people’s rights.”

    Enforce that and NYPD is going to end up with about eight cops left.

    1. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  17. No brutality. The guy kept resisting arrest and they handled it fine. If you smoke pot publicly in NYC you may be arrested and if you are, then cooperate. Otherwise move your pot head to Colorado or California where you won’t get arrested.

    1. Did you forget the sarc tag, or are you really that much of a copsucking statist slimeball?

    2. Stomping on someone’s head while they are restrained is brutality. Period.

  18. The pigs in this country are well aware of the rage against them, and have had more than enough time to clean their own houses. There’s no such thing as a “good cop”, or they would have been busy taking out the trash, if for no other reason but self-preservation. When the People start to wipe every one of them off the face of the planet, they’ll only have temselves to blame. It doesn’t matter if a pig is a perpetrator or a tacit accomplice, they are ALL cowardly punks.

    In the meantime, I hope they escalate and multiply their atrocities.

    1. … *themselves* …

  19. “but resists arrest”

    Kind of sums it up right there.

  20. Ed,
    It’s stories like this that make it tougher and tougher to be libertarian. We’re branded as ‘fringe’, ‘kooky’ and ‘uneducated’ while we continue to fight the battle with logic and intuitive thought. Then you, again, bring out videos like this. As someone who has been in these situations in the past, let me break it down from an ‘educated’ perspective:
    1)….we libertarians all agree that marijuana should be legalized. In NY, unfortunately, it is still illegal. This is unfortunate that the legislative branch of our government has not acted faster; however, the executive branch must enforce the law

    2) honestly and without prejudice towards law enforcement, break down the video:

    2a) it starts with the cops holding onto the subject. It can be inferred that he wasn’t complaint when the told him he was under arrest.

    2b) Absolutely no punches thrown

    2c) cops are surrounded by persons unknown to them

    2d) the ‘gun’ referred to is an officer’s radio

    2e) It’s about damn time that no cops approaches the video taker and either arrest or try to take video. You all have the right to videotape police at at time you wish. Just obey them when they ask you step back if you are close. The police don’t know who you are or what exactly your intentions are.

    2f) I for one sure wish the ‘kick’ was caught on video. It appears the strike is the only grainy point on the video?

    1. Shorter CopAndLibertarian: The video is wrong, the witnesses are wrong, and cops can do no wrong.

    2. It can be inferred that he wasn’t complaint when the told him he was under arrest.

      See, also, “assuming the conclusion”.

      cops are surrounded by persons unknown to them.

      Also known as “being in public”.

      The police don’t know who you are or what exactly your intentions are.

      So they should keep their yaps shut, their hands to themselves, and their weapons holstered until such time as they have reason to believe I am a threat, right?

  21. Eventually there will be one of these situations where the onlooking crowd gets fed up and detains the cops while letting the arrested individual go, and demand the police be arrested for assault. And that’s going to be really interesting.

  22. The other day I was out at a client site and on the way back, I saw an election sign for a candidate for sheriff.

    “[Insert name of dude here] for Sheriff”
    “Tough On Crime!”

    Every time I see a sign like that now, I just shake my head and wonder about people. The “tough on crime” propaganda has turned into a full scale war on communities. And it has fostered a police mentality of “Us vs. Them”. “Them” being anyone of us who is not connected to the law enforcement. When will people start to learn that negative statements in campaigns like that will not contribute anything positive to society and to stop voting for the megalomaniacs that push that message?

    Gone are the days when law enforcement was a part of the community. When will cops actually be involved in something other than trying to find reasons to go after people who aren’t hurting anyone?

    I have had good friends become cops. Now, I cant stand being around them. And in fact, I haven’t seen them in years because of how they changed when they became cops. They gloat over finding ways to search peoples cars for things that have nothing to do with the traffic offense that they were pulled over for and stuff like that. They see nothing good in society except their own power and control.

    It is sickening!

    1. Whenever I’ve called the cops, be it after being burglarized, mugged or robbed, the conversation was always the same.
      Cop “This was drug related, can we search for drugs?”
      Me “Uh, no it wasn’t…”
      Cop “Don’t fucking contradict me! I said it was drug related, so it’s fucking drug related! Now do we have consent to search or not?”
      Me “Uh, no.”
      Cop “Well then sir, have a good day.”

      1. Sounds about right. haha

        And don’t even get me started on how many cops I have seen drive drunk, smoke pot, do lines, run red lights in civilian vehicles while off duty, bully people in bars and businesses while off duty…

        1. Cops can pretty much do anything they want. Who’s going to stop them? The cops?

  23. One day we’ll see a video where the people hit back.

  24. I’m at the point I feel safer dealing with criminals myself than calling the cops.

    1. if you have a good sense of self awareness and how you move about the world, you probably are better off doing as you say…

    2. Except police get in the way of this too. In Spokane, where I live, we recently had a case where a career criminal tried to steal the SUV of a plumber loading up to go. To his first morning job. The plumber, Mr. Gerlach, was armed (legal C & C permit) and saw the perp reaching back behind him. Mr. Gerlach thought he had a weapon, so he drew and fired his. Fatally wounding the perp.

      The DA had never done a God damned thing to keep this punk thief off the streets. But he went after Mr. Gerlach with great zeal. Charging him with first degree manslaughter. After all, it was big publicity for him. Which he needed, as he is generally seen as a lazy piece of crap here locally.

      Mr. Gerlach was finally found innocent (specific jury finding) in about 20 minutes of jury deliberations. But this caused great personal disruption and financial stress for his family. For a man who had never been in trouble in his life.

      The message was clear, defend yourself or your property and the cops will get you. Not that they give a shit when you get robbed anyway. But it’s better for the DA’s career to go after innocent people than it is to prosecute real criminals.

  25. If the policeman who stomped on the suspects head is not arrested and prosecuted, ever citizen will have a legitimate excuse to resist arrest.

  26. Because its not a crime if there is no phone call or a weapon or if some moron says there is no reason to arrest him, especially if the criminal is black.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.