Cops allegedly beat and tasered a Queens man in front of his 3-year-old son while responding to a noise complaint at his home, according to a new police brutality lawsuit.
NYPD officers showed up at Peter Lawson’s house in Jamaica on June 4 to investigate the 311 call, according to the $10 million civil rights suit filed Friday in Manhattan federal court.
Home surveillance video of the confrontation shows Lawson, a former Golden Gloves champion who now works as a community youth leader, approach a police cruiser as it pulls up in front of his house.
Four officers step out of the vehicle at abut 11:35 p.m. and engage in a heated conversation with Lawson, 38, as several of his friends and family gather in front of the house, according to the grainy black and white footage, which has no audio.
The exchange rapidly devolves into an all-out brawl between the officers, Lawson and his wife, who stepped in to help him, according to the footage released by his lawyer Norman Steiner.
The complaint alleges that the melee began after one of the officers grabbed Lawson’s wrist as he tried to walk away after becoming upset by the cops’ “aggressive manner.”
At one point, several officers can be seen on the footage pummeling Lawson, who wears a white T-shirt, while he’s pressed up against the cruiser.
The cops wrestle him to the ground as their fists continue to rain down on his body, Steiner wrote in the lawsuit.
Then one of the officers allegedly “pulled on Mr. Lawson’s long dreadlocks,” ripping a clump of hair from his head and causing a “one-inch diameter bald spot,” the lawsuit charges.
While Lawson was immobilized on the ground, the cops allegedly tasered him twice then slapped him in cuffs, the papers say.
Meanwhile, his 3-year-old son, who is not visible in the footage, watched in horror nearby, Steiner said.
Lawson received medical treatment before he was taken to Queens criminal court, where he was arraigned on felony charges and released on $7,500 bond, the papers say.
Eleven days later, Lawson and his lawyer met with Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee and Councilwoman Adrienne Adams over the alleged assault.
The next day, the Queens District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against Lawson, according to the federal suit.
The DA and the NYPD didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The suit, which names police officers Brendan Storz, Sofia Hamid, and two unidentified cops, seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
“While we recognize and admire the brave officers of the NYPD who dutifully serve our community, these kinds of civil rights cases are necessary to change the tolerance of the NYPD towards its few bad apples,” said Steiner.
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