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Juanita Young alleges more police brutality

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
The NYPD is again being harangued for alleged harassment of Juanita Young, who won a...
Juanita Young alleges more police brutality

The NYPD is again being harangued for alleged harassment of Juanita Young, who won a $10 million settlement after an officer in the Bronx killed her 23-year-old son Malcolm Ferguson in 2000.

Young claims that on August 8, she was having a barbecue at her home on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. Young said that she was standing in front of her building with friends and family and claims that over a dozen NYPD officers came out of nowhere, breaking down her door and slamming her oldest son, James Ferguson, behind the door.

Witnesses and Young said that the officers beat Ferguson in the head while he was being handcuffed. The ordeal occurred while Young's children and grand- children were present.

Cops went upstairs to Young's apartment, making everyone get on the floor and arresting six of Young's family members and friends, including her two daughters. Young claims that male officers removed her daughter's blouse and felt on her chest.

Ferguson was allegedly beaten up and pepper sprayed. He was arraigned on Monday in Bronx Criminal Court. The others arrested were released with summons for disorderly conduct.

Photographs taken during the incident show officers attacking Ferguson while he is on the ground and hand-cuffed. They also show several officers entering Young's building and going upstairs. "I am very angry at what the 43rd Precinct did to my children because all we were doing was having a family barbecue. They again took advantage of a situation and abused my older son who, for the past three days, they kept picking up on the street," Young said.

Young also said that the ordeal was set up to get her son. She added that she is tired of the 43rd Precinct attacking her children and said her family didn't do anything wrong.

"I don't know what else to do," she said. "I am so tired of them attacking my kids and trying to get to me."

The NYPD is reporting that anticrime officers observed Ferguson at Young's home with a lit marijuana cigarette. According to the NYPD, officers approached him with their shields out, Ferguson began cursing at them and he punched an officer in the face and also kicked him. One officer received a laceration to his left hand.

Officers said that they called for assistance because other people became involved in the altercation. Two officers were treated for bumps, bruises and lacerations. Ferguson was arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest and criminal possession of marijuana.

Young has been vocal against police brutality since a plainclothes officer killed her son Malcolm Ferguson in 2000. While law enforcement ruled the death "justifiable homicide," a Bronx jury awarded her $10 million in a wrongful death suit. Young believes she is being targeted in an attempt to intimidate her.

On Monday, several people rallied in front of Young's home, including members of the October 22nd Coalition. A group of nearly 75 people marched from Young's house to the 43rd Precinct in protest.

"What we are doing here today is saying that this is not acceptable," said Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party. "It is not acceptable to target Juanita Young and her family because she dared to speak out against police brutality. It should not be accepted that police criminalize Black and Latino youth."