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Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2002 at 8:43 AM
The police have been caught on video macing a man already cuffed, in the same precint of the Abner Louima. This brutal incident is more of call to protest police terror, especially with the National Day of Protest against Police Brutality OCT. 22nd. www.october22.org
Exclusive: Police Brutality Case Caught On Tape
NEW YORK, 10:16 p.m. EDT September 20, 2002 - The tape tells the story: A man already in handcuffs was struck and maced by a New York City Police Department officer.
The incident happened in the very same precinct where Abner Louima was brutally attacked. In fact, the officer involved was assigned there right after the Louima torture case to diversify the stationhouse.
Now, that officer is charged with a vicious assault that was all captured on home video.
In the video, one can see 26-year-old Anthony Carty, already in handcuffs, being subdued by at least six police officers.
Many of the onlookers shouted to officers to "ease up," and moments before that, witnesses say Carty was sprayed with pepper spray or mace.
NewsChannel 4's exclusive interview with the victim, Anthony Carty
Then, while being escorted to a waiting patrol car and held by three other police officers, Officer Charles Dorcent, a five-year veteran of the NYPD, struck Carty, who was already handcuffed.
The incident then enraged a growing crowd of spectators.
According to Carty, the whole incident began as an innocent argument during a softball game here in Prospect Park. While it's still unclear why the officers from the 70th Precinct responded, Carty says several players and officers got into a heated argument. That's when Carty an officer maced a player, and that's when Carty says he intervened.
That's also where the videotape begins.
The man behind the lens of this home video camera provided the tape exclusively to Newschannel 4. Because of the nature of the images, and concern for his safety, he has chosen not to appear on camera even in silhouette.
After the incident, he followed Dorcent to make sure his face, precinct, and even the plate number of officer Dorcent's patrol car were recorded.
While the images of Carty being stuck are disturbing, the person who shot the tape told Newschannel 4 that he was more outraged when Carty was maced at least two more times by another officer before being placed into the backseat of the patrol car.
"This is an obvious and outrageous abuse of police power," said Carty's attorney, Rudolf Silas.
Silas says what officers may not have known at the time is that the macing sent Carty into respiratory distress. Carty has a history of asthma. Silas says while Carty was inside the patrol car, his wife tried to tell officers about her husband's asthmatic condition, only to be arrested herself.
A short time later, police officers did remove Carty from the car, and put him into an ambulance.
"There is no allegation of a weapon being used, no allegation of alcohol or any drugs (being used that would influence) his behavior," Silas said. "From the look of the video it appeared as though he was wobbly, not fully conscious, and certainly not flailing his legs flailing his arms, biting ... not doing anything that might be perceived as provocation."
At the hospital, Carty was treated for several bruises and received eight stitches to his upper lip -- injuries his attorney says are a direct result of the beating at the hands of Dorcent.
On Thursday, in an exclusive interview police Commissioner Ray Kelly agreed to talk about the incident.
"It was an inappropriate use of force," Kelly said. "The officer was immediately suspended. Internal Affairs Bureau investigators took the complainant to the district attorney's office. An investigation with the district attorney's office was conducted, and the officer was ultimately arrested."
Sources tell Newschannel 4 its likely Dorcent may not be the only officer facing possible criminal charges. The incident occurred on Aug. 11. However, law enforcement sources confirm that it was nearly three weeks before any action was taken.
When Newschannel 4 asked the commissioner if his office was concerned that the incident had not been reported to either Internal Affairs, or the district attorney's office until three weeks after the incident, Kelly said the following: "All aspects of this incident -- of the event and the surrounding circumstances of the event -- are under investigation by our Internal Affairs Bureau."
Silas believes without the videotape evidence, this case would have likely been swept under the rug.
"I'm convinced but for this tape ... the tape makes it very clear that this was an unprovoked assault, it takes it out word against word, and it lays it out in an objective fashion for all of us to view and reach their determinations," Silas said.
On the day of the incident, Carty was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and obstruction, and those charges are still pending.
Newschannel 4 contacted the attorney for Dorcent, and he declined comment on the case. Dorcent was arrested by internal affairs, and he was charged with assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
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||Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2002 at 12:14 PM