A Brooklyn man and his lawyer are claiming that a group of officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) are guilty of a hate crime, after the man was beaten while throwing a gay pride party in his apartment Sunday night.
Jabbar Campbell, 32, told the New York Daily News that officers responding to a noise complaint held and beat him while shouting homophobic slurs.
"They were screaming and cursing saying things like ‘fag,’ ‘homo,’ ‘a--hole,’ just a bunch of anti-gay slurs,” Campbell said in the office of his lawyer, Herbert Supin, per the Daily News.
Supin has filed preliminary paperwork and plans to sue the City of New York, as well as the officers involved in the altercation.
According to Campbell, the officers arrived on his doorstep in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a little before 3 a.m. Sunday morning. Campbell had been hosting a party for the transgender community, and the officers asked the group to keep the noise down. Minutes later a second, larger group of officers buzzed Campbell's apartment, which has a security camera on the front. From the second floor, Campbell watched as one officer pointed at the camera and another officer turned the device away, so that it was facing a wall.
“I noticed them turning the security camera and I got scared,” Cambell said, according to the New York Post.
When Campbell eventually let the men in, they rushed him, he said. While two immobilized his arms, another hit him repeatedly in the head, resulting in injuries.
“One particular officer had a gloved fist and was hitting me in the face,” he told the Post.
In a picture released by Jabbar Campbell's attorney, Herbert Supin, Campbell displays wounds to his mouth and face he says were inflicted by Brooklyn NYPD officers hurling homophobic slurs.
The police claim Campbell was resisting arrest and in possession of drugs, allegations that Campbell insists are "lies," according to CBS. NYPD Internal Affairs is currently investigating.
Speaking with the Huffington Post, Supin said this is one of the clearest cases of gay-bashing he's ever come across.
Supin told the HuffPost that a half-dozen partygoers witnessed the incident, and he recounted how responding officers asked whether they were engaging in "gay orgies" and "screwing each other." Witnesses also deny the NYPD charge that Campbell was resisting, charges Supin dismissed as "trumped up."
But the videotape of the officer allegedly tampering with the apartment security system is the most damning piece of evidence, proving that police knew they were doing something illicit, according to Supin.
"When a police officer, duty-bound to uphold the law, does something so that you can't see what he's doing, that shows intent to do something illegal," Supin told HuffPost.
The NYPD transported Campbell to Kings County Hospital where he received stitches and was diagnosed with a concussion, according to Supin.
Police brutality advocates tell Supin they are planning a protest outside the 77th Precinct. Supin's office will be reaching out to the gay community to see if they would like to participate.
The NYPD started a separate internal investigation in October, after cops were caught on video beating an unarmed young man in a synagogue in Crown Heights, the same neighborhood where Campbell's apartment is located. Police initially charged 21-year-old Ehud Halevy with assault, resisting arrest, trespass, harassment and marijuana possessions. But after video of the one-sided fight went viral, all charges were dropped against Halevy, reported the Daily News.