Carlos Alcis dies from trauma when police raid home for stolen cell phone
Herb Boyd | 8/22/2013, 9:11 a.m. | Updated on 8/22/2013, 9:11 a.m.
“Carlos Alcis was asleep in his bed in Rockaway Parkway at 4:30 in the morning when the police raided his home,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, standing beside Alcis’ widow, the victim’s brother and his nephew. “Why would you raid somebody’s house in pursuit of someone who allegedly took somebody’s cellphone? These are the things that cause so much tension in our community.”
While the police agree they were after a suspect, they contend that Alcis, 43, let them in before he fell to the floor in trauma. But the family said the police barged into their home without a search warrant and shined flashlights in their faces.
“There was blood coming from my brother’s mouth,” Rudy Alcis told listeners at the National Action Network last Saturday. “That’s when they called my nephew to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”
After trying to revive his uncle, Alcis’ nephew called 911. “With all those officers in the room, it was my nephew who had to call 911, and it took more than 20 minutes for them to arrive,” said Rudy. According to Rudy Alcis, EMS told the family, “sorry for the loss.’” said Rudy Alcis.
The family claims that Alcis died of a heart attack brought on by the sudden intrusion. “He had no history of heart trouble,” his brother said.
“He was the father of eight children,” said Sharpton, “and you wonder why this only happens in our community and not on Park Avenue.”
According to the Brooklyn district attorney, the incident is under investigation. Attorney Sanford Rubenstein said that if there’s any criminality involved, it should be investigated.
“Everyone in the house was sleeping,” Rubenstein told the press, “so no one gave the police permission to enter.”
The police, according to experts, can only enter a home without a search warrant if they are in hot pursuit of someone committing a felony or posing danger, as in a hostage situation. Neither was relevant to this incident.
Later it was disclosed that a young man had been arrested and that his fingerprints matched those on the stolen cellphone that was found by the victim’s Find My iPhone app.
What happened to Alcis is reminiscent of the tragedy in Harlem 10 years ago when Alberta Spruill’s door was battered down, a flash grenade hurled in and cops entered her apartment. Spruill, 57, told the officers she had a heart condition as they handcuffed her. Two hours later, she was dead. The cops had knocked down the wrong door in pursuit of drugs, vicious dogs and an arsenal of guns.