Today at Bronx Criminal Court, prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to prove that Jateik Reed, the nineteen-year-old whose brutal beating by the NYPD was caught on tape this January, was guilty of drug and assault charges. The dismissed case included seven charges related to assaulting police, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of marijuana, menacing, and harassment.
Officers said they stopped Reed after seeing him drop drugs, and that Reed proceeded to punch and head butt an officer. But according to Reed's defense, video (not yet released to the public) from cameras out front of the Bronx building where the beating occurred clearly show that Reed did not strike police, or drop drugs. The entire incident, they told me, stemmed from a racially motivated stop-and-frisk.
"What speaks for itself is video," Reed's attorney Michael Warren told me, "Not only does it capture the beating itself, and the nature of the beating, but it also captures the activity of Mr. Reed and two of his friends as they were walking to the building."
Warren said the video "clearly indicates two things."
"Number one," he said, "That it was a racially contextual stop, because they weren't involved with any criminal activity whatsoever."
Number two, he said, is that the drugs police charged Reed with possessing "are a package that the officer picked up off the ground. If you look at the video, nobody -- none of [Jateik's friends] threw anything on the ground."
Warren said the two bags containing what police said was a residual amount of crack cocaine, and marijuana, were left on the ground by someone other than Reed and his friends, "or it was placed there by the officers." FULL STORY