Two childhood friends have filed Internal Affairs Bureau and Civilian Complaint Review Board complaints against the New York City Police Department after they were wrongly identified as shooting suspects in Harlem and then arrested.
According to the New York Daily News, Anthony Ross, 30, and Saquan Eadie, 29, ran into each other last month at West 116th Street and Manhattan Avenue in Harlem when they were approached by police who told the friends that their all-black attire matched the description of two men involved in a shooting nearby. Because who else would wear all black. In New York City!
“I was getting home from work. There was a shooting in the area, the cops were patrolling the area,” Ross told the Daily News. “They decided to stop me and my friend. They searched us, and we let them know we didn’t have any weapons.”
The two men were taken back to the precinct station house, where they were subjected to a strip search. Ross said that when he hesitated before dropping his clothes, officers threatened to use a Taser on him.
“I’m asking them why they arrested me. They said I was doing too much talking. I wasn’t doing anything. Why was I being arrested? They kept repeating ‘disorderly conduct.’ I said, ‘You grabbed my balls. Do you expect me not to be mad?’” Ross said. “They proceeded to arrest us and strip-searched us in the precinct. I let them know that was illegal.”
After the incident, Ross was still given a summons for disorderly conduct before being released.
“They said sorry. I said, ‘That’s not going to make up for violating my rights. They got mad and I left,” he said. “I went to go see a lawyer. He said, ‘You clearly have a case.’”
Eadie is still in police custody. The 29-year-old was recently released from a three-year prison stint in January after being arrested for selling drugs back in 2015 and was on parole when he was arrested. He was charged with marijuana possession and having a crack pipe.
He is still at New York CIty’s Rikers Island jail complex awaiting a parole hearing.
Meanwhile, Eadie’s mother, Karen Mathurin, was furious when she heard about his arrest.
“They had my son in handcuffs already and slammed him to the ground. They illegally searched him in his pants and underwear,” she said. “They abused my son. I need justice.”
The NYPD told the Daily News that Ross’ and Eadie’s arrests are currently under internal review.