YONKERS, NY — A former Jamaican Army Special Ops officer is recovering from what he says was excessive force by police.
Terrence Shaw, who suffered numerous injuries to his eye, head and body, says he was pulled over on Palmer Road in Yonkers on Saturday morning for no apparent reason. According to the police report, Shaw was driving erratically at a high rate of speed at 1:45 am, crossing over the double yellow line on Palmer Road multiple times.
“At first they asked me to get out of the vehicle, which I did, and they asked me to go get my ID,” said Shaw. “On the way to get my ID, he pulled me back and asked me where I was going. I said, 'you just asked me for my ID, so that’s what I’m gonna get.'”
However, police say Shaw refused multiple verbal requests to present his driver’s license and was then asked to exit the vehicle.
Shaw explained what happened next.
“He then grabbed my hand and cuffed one of my hands and then he slapped me in my face. I said, 'what was that for?' By the time I could ask that question I was tased by the female cop.”
Shaw said he panicked and took off on foot down the road. When he fell to the ground, he said more officers beat him with multiple blows to the head and body. Shaw said he tried to bite one of the officers because he was restrained and could not defend himself.
Shaw was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center for treatment. He was charged with felony assault, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. He was also issued multiple vehicle and traffic law summonses, including reckless driving and speeding and paid $5,000 bail.
Yonkers Police Public Information Officer, Det. Sgt. Dean Politopoulos, released a statement:
“Police officers sometimes come into contact with individuals who refuse to comply with verbal requests and directions. In a few of these instances, officers may have to utilize physical force to overcome physical resistance, as is the case with Terrence Shaw. Our officers had a duty to investigate the reckless operation of that vehicle on residential streets. If Shaw had complied with officers at scene, the situation would not have elevated to one requiring the use of force.”
Police supervisors will conduct an investigation into the physical use of force by officers during the arrest, however preliminary indications are that the officers acted properly and within department policy. Officials are also awaiting blood test results to see if alcohol played a role in this case.