In a video posted on the New York Times, an unnamed, white Brooklyn police officer appears to take a handful of money from a black man’s pocket. The officer then appears to indiscriminately pepper-spray the man, Lamard Joye. When his sister, Lateefah Joye, asks the officer for his name, she too is pepper-sprayed.
According to the Times, Joye was hanging out with friends celebrating his birthday in Coney Island in the early hours of September 16. The NYPD says it received a call about a man with a gun. Officers arrived on the scene. What happens next and was caught on video is now the subject of investigations by the Brooklyn district attorney, the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Joye wasn’t arrested–and he never got his money back. Joye’s lawyer, Robert Marinelli, says what happened to the money remains a mystery:
Mr. Marinelli said he has submitted pay and bank records to the district attorney showing his client, who works in construction, had earned a few thousand dollars in early September and had withdrawn a couple of thousand dollars, intending to celebrate his birthday with his wife.
"I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft," Mr. Marinelli said. "This assumption was wrong. Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer. An incident like this would never occur in a more affluent section of the city."