County Officials Shoot Down Claim That Cops Assaulted Woman After Reviewing Dashcam Footage
A Long Island woman claimed she was assaulted by police officers after a recent shooting — but on Friday, New York officials said the officers’ dashcam told a different story.
“The evidence gathered in this investigation reveals that the allegation that officers physically assaulted this individual for no reason is false,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters while speaking at the county government offices in Hauppauge, New York, according to Newsday.
“The evidence, in fact, indicated these officers acted in the best interests of this victim,” he added.
The development not only strikes down Cindy M. O’Pharrow’s assault claims, but also the preconceived notion that officers targeted her as a black woman.
According to Fox News, O’Pharrow “filed a notice of claim against Suffolk County and its police department, alleging that officers injured her arm while forcibly removing her [from] an ambulance following a June 27 shooting at a Dix Hills graduation party.”
Her attorney, Frederick K. Brewington, announced the claim during a July 7 news conference in which he noted his client’s other allegations that officers cursed at her, “refused to provide their names and shined flashlights into her cell phone when she tried to take photos and video of police at the scene.”
Bellone had his own thoughts to share about Brewington’s theatrics, in addition to O’Pharrow’s.
“This attorney got in front of multiple cameras and said these officers used force against someone for no reason,” he said, according to Fox News.
“The attorney then actually held up pictures of these officers and was accusing them of abusing their power … that they abused their authority, that they physically assaulted a woman for no reason,” the county executive noted. “That is what was said.”
“None of that is true.”
WSHU-FM reported on the incident which took place that led to O’Pharrow’s removal from the ambulance.
After a man was shot in the stomach at a Dix Hills graduation party, O’Pharrow claimed the victim’s family asked her to join him inside the ambulance for his trip to the hospital.
She argued that officers then forcibly removed her from the ambulance, injuring her arm as they cursed at her.
During a media briefing, Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron asserted that uninjured persons are not allowed inside ambulances.
He then turned to police dashcam footage for supporting evidence.
The less than two minutes of video eviscerated O’Pharrow’s claims before reporters’ eyes.
The dashcam footage recounted the moment the shooting victim was loaded into the ambulance and O’Pharrow tried to join him inside.
Cameron said it showed O’Pharrow growing “agitated” and “waving her finger” at EMS personnel before climbing inside, Fox reported.
“She wouldn’t get off and the fire department wouldn’t leave with her in there,” he explained to the media.
The victim, later identified as O’Pharrow’s cousin, continually told her to “just get out so [the ambulance] can leave.”
Two officers then removed O’Pharrow, lifting her out of the ambulance by her arms so authorities could transport the victim to the hospital.
“It looks to me as though they took great care to put her carefully down on the ground so that she would not be injured. So essentially, they were facing an untenable standoff,” Cameron said.
“She was delaying transport of a critically injured person, but I do believe she was well-intentioned,” he later added.
Ironically, O’Pharrow is the co-founder of the West Babylon-based nonprofit Cops N’Kids Long Island, according to the Long Island Press, and advocates for improved police-community relations.
Unfortunately, it appears she only wants one end of the equation beholden to such “improvement.”
The Long Island Press also coined the incident as the latest of “white Suffolk police officers being accused of mistreating minorities,” which not only baits opportunists, but also reiterates the narrative that police officers go out of their way to target minorities.
To the opportunists’ dismay, however, dashcam footage debunked this case.
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