New York activists release video of alleged anti-gay police violence


The New York City Anti-Violence Project on June 10 released a 3-minute video said to show anti-gay violence by the New York City Police Department.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on June 3.

The AVP, in a news release, said, three gay men – Josh Williams, Ben Collins and Antonio Maenza – reported they were walking past the 79th Precinct when an NYPD officer accused one of the men of public urination and attacked him, throwing him against a police car.

The AVP said other police officers joined in the assault, throwing the man to the ground and pepper spraying him while he was in handcuffs.

The man was handcuffed tightly, causing lacerations. He also was restrained at the hospital where he was treated.

The two other men also were arrested, according to the AVP, which planned to hold a news conference on June 11 at 1 Police Plaza in Manhattan.

AVP will be joined by the survivors, their lawyer, additional survivors of anti-LGBTQ police violence and community partners, including the LGBT Justice Project of Make the Road NY, Streetwise and Safe, the Safe OUTside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, Communities United for Police Reform, Campaign to Stop the False Arrests, the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, the LGBT Advisory Panel to NYPD Commission Kelly, City Council Member Daniel Dromm.

AVP, according to the release, also reached out to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the Office of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the NYPD.

The AVP, in an annual report released earlier this month, said about 40 percent of LGBT people who interact with the NYPD report police misconduct and that reports of misconduct rose from 2008 to 2012.

The AVP also has reported a series of hate crimes against LGBT people in New York in recent weeks, which has prompted calls for self-defense training in the community and also Friday night safety walks in LGBT neighborhoods.

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