The New York Police Department (NYPD) is under heavy scrutiny following the emergence of a video showing multiple officers using excessive force on an 85-pound man in handcuffs.
William Colon, who is 24 years old and just 4’8″ tall, was reportedly arguing with his girlfriend, Lissette Torres, over her reportedly threatening to take back several birthday gifts she had recently given him when the police were called to respond to the argument in Staten Island’s Richmond Town neighborhood.
In the video of the incident, Colon’s brother, Jazz, is heard arguing with the NYPD as they barged into the home with their consent or a warrant.
While police manhandle Colon, his brother urges him to cooperate with their orders and not try to resist, though Colon kept repeating that he didn’t do anything. Eventually, the officers force him to the bed and subdue him, placing handcuffs on his wrists. When Colon continues to struggle, an NYPD officer identified as Vincenzo Trabolse punches him repeatedly in the torso, and eventually deploys his taser.
“Do y’all see what y’all doin’ to this little boy? In his home. When y’all had no right to come in here,” Jazz is heard saying in the video.
“I was trying to ask them, ‘What did I do?’ ” Colon told the New York Daily News. “I was very scared. I suffer from social phobia. I was very confused.”
Colon, who has no prior convictions, suffers from a variety of health conditions, including Mauriac Syndrome, which is related to diabetes and can cause dwarfism. The Daily News reported that he also has asthma, and his brother shouted at the beginning of the video that he has scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature of the spine.
“When they Tased me, my blood sugar skyrocketed,” Colon told the Daily News. “I was very nauseous and pale and vomiting. They thought I was going to go into a diabetic coma. I had to go for X-rays. My body was sore and bruised.”
The incident is currently being investigated by the office of the Staten Island District Attorney’s office.
“We understand there are questions regarding police conduct in this situation and we can assure the public we will continue to review all evidence and investigate that matter, but have no further comment at this time,” DA spokesman Michael McMahon told the Daily News.
The NYPD confirmed that it was aware of the incident and said the department’s Internal Affairs office is looking into the officers involved. The department charged Colon with assault and resisting arrest.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.