Benjamin Marshall, who was slugged and slammed to the ground by a police officer on a Brooklyn subway platform, plans to file a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department.
According to the lawsuit, Marshall, who is 15 years old, was punched in the face by a police officer during a melee that broke out inside the Jay St.-MetroTech subway last week.
Marshall was one of the five teens arrested during the fight that was caught on camera. However, Marshall’s parents claim that he wasn’t involved in the fight and only followed his friend into the train station to get his backpack.
“While he went down into the train station, there was a lot of cops, a lot of students,” Marshall’s dad, Anthony Noel, said. “They were arresting a couple people. When he got down on the platform, one of his friends called out to him, and when he looked over, he got punched multiple times by a police officer in his head. Then he was slammed to the ground.”
Mr. Noel went on to say, “About six of them or eight of them were on top of him. One put his knee in his neck. He kept saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ and they would not let up. They handcuffed him. Slammed him into a sign.”
Mr. Noel said he also saw cellphone video of the brawl and was horrified to see his son hit by a police officer for no reason.
“There’s no words to describe what I’m feeling right now besides being furious and angry with what happened,” Noel said. “Because he could have been dead I’m just outraged to see a cop punching my son in his face. Multiple times.”
The family’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said he is planning to file a notice of claim on behalf of the family. He said he’s also arranging a meeting between the family and Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez.
“This police officer’s actions were out of control,” Rubenstein said. ”He was not part of or involved in the melee that was ongoing at the train station. For a police officer to punch a 15 year old in the face when he was doing nothing wrong is simply unacceptable.”
The cop who hit Marshall was put in a non-enforcement assignment while NYPD investigates his actions during the melee inside the train station.