Friday, July 31, 2009

Queens Man Says Police Beat Him in Holding Cell

A Queens man says he was the victim of police brutality following an arrest earlier this month for drunk driving.

Imran Ali, 21, said Thursday he was roughed up by police officers at the 103rd precinct all the while insisting he was not the person driving the vehicle.

Ali, who weighs 130 pounds, says he was slammed into a brick wall and bars of a holding cell by police officers. He says he lost consciousness and awoke at Jamaica Hospital handcuffed to a bed.

Ali says he suffered head injuries which required multiple staples and stitches on his forehead.

His attorneys are demanding the Queens District Attorney's office look at video from the holding cell cameras.

The DA's office says it is looking into the claims.

"I hope that the sergeant that assaulted me be prosecuted to the fullest and that it doesn't happen to no one else," Ali said.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne released a statement late Thursday saying Ali had been arrested on July 17 around 4:54 a.m. after crashing his vehicle head-on into a parked car at Lakewood Avenue and 142nd Street.

Ali had a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, was unsteady on his feet, had bloodshot eyes, and slurred his speech, Browne said. He was then charged with DWI and placed in a holding cell.

Browne says while awaiting transport to the 112th precinct for a blood alcohol test, Ali had become combative and when an officer went to investigate banging in the cell found Ali on the floor where it is believed he had either fallen or jumped from a bench. Browne said EMS was called and Ali was transported to the hospital.

Ali's previous arrests in Queens include trespassing and criminal possession of marijuana in two separate incidents in June this year, Browne said.

"Contrary to his lawyer's assertion that Ali was a passenger in a car driven by someone else who was also arrested, Ali was alone and he was the only individual arrested in connection with this incident.," Browne said in the statement.

The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau had been notified and the case was referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Inset photo: Staples on Imran Ali's head

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