For 17 years, Nicholas Simon has called Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home. But after a run-in with police last week, the teen doesn’t feel at ease in his own surroundings.
Last Wednesday, while walking home from the park, NYPD officers swooped in on the young student and DJ with no warning. They immediately handcuffed him and placed him in the back of a squad car with no explanation as to why he was being arrested. The incident, which was caught on video, is now making its rounds on social media.
Simon told News 12 Brooklyn that he still has physical bruises from the altercation where he claims police officers put their knees on his head and back and dragged him from the ground in handcuffs. Once inside the car, the teen who is home-schooled due to his severe asthma and sickle cell anemia, said police questioned him about the whereabouts of a gun. Simon told the officers that he did not know what they were talking about, and asked repeatedly, without answers, why he was being arrested.
After being taken down to Precint 71 in Brooklyn, Simon and his mother Sparkle Roach say the interrogation continued.
They also claim that the teen was not given an opportunity to place a phone call. Roach was notified about the incident from neighbors who watched the alarming encounter take place.
According to Roach, her son also went without her supervision and water for upwards of three hours. The concerned mom told News 12 that the whole time she was worried about her son’s medical condition, which officers blew off.
The family has now secured the legal services of Keith White to represent the teen. White told ESSENCE that he is pushing to dismiss the summons for disorderly conduct that was issued to Simon after it was determined that he was not involved in a nearby incident where shots were fired and police arrested four people.
White will also be filing a lawsuit against the NYPD for their handling of the matter.
“Nicholas is going to be fine but what about all those men who don’t have the benefit of an attorney or the benefit of a video?” White questioned. “Our concern with the narrative is not so much with Nicholas. It’s that people aren’t as up in arms because he wasn’t shot. We’ve normalized, and in ways allowed this type of police conduct.”
In the coming days, White says he and the family will be meeting with NYPD officials, including precinct commanders and borough chiefs. They will also be speaking with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
The NYPD was contacted for a statement but has yet to respond.
Though Simon’s physical scars will heal, his mother alludes that only time will tell if the emotional wounds from his first run-in with the police will as readily fade away.Share :