Charges against a Black Bronx teen who claims he was the victim of a beating by NYPD officers, who were caught on tape, have been dropped.
On Jan. 26, 19-year-old Jateik Reed was brutally beaten and arrested by several officers from the 42nd Precinct. The beating was caught on tape and the footage was widely circulated on the Internet via the website worldstarhiphop.com
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson moved to dismiss all seven of the charges against Reed stemming from the beating, which included two assault charges, three drug possession charges and a harassment charge.
The district attorney’s office said that it had investigated the case and that it could not prove any of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Bronx Criminal Court Judge Seth L. Marvin granted the district attorney’s motion and dismissed the charges.
The day after Reed’s beating, the Bronx district attorney’s office brought a second set of charges against him, allegedly arising from a cell phone robbery that occurred in January. Reed’s next court appearance on those charges is scheduled for April 2012.
“[I’m] just thankful that we beat this first case. I hope the other cases go as well as this one did. Thank you everybody for your support, I appreciate it,” Reed said to media outside the court.
Michael Warren, Reed’s attorney, said that what happened to Reed was unjustifiable and the officers were out of line.
“He was simply in a situation where he was completely vulnerable, and he was trying to protect himself as best he could,” said Warren.
As an ongoing internal investigation into what happened continues, the officers involved in the taped beating are off the job. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has been quoted as calling the beating “disturbing.”
In February, Reed’s family, supporters and attorney called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the NYPD officers who beat Reed.
Reed’s beating, along with several other recent police encounters, has prompted Assemblyman Eric Stevenson to propose legislation that would require NYPD officers to undergo periodical psychiatric evaluation.
“The Police Department requires that officers routinely qualify with regard to their proficiency with their service weapons,” Stevenson said. “If the officers fail to qualify, this may have adverse consequences on their employment. However, this qualification may show that the officer is an expert marksman, but it doesn’t qualify them as psychologically fit to perform their duties in safeguarding their community.”