The man who says he captured video of the melee with the NYPD in Brooklyn on Sunday told ANIMAL that police provoked the confrontation and he recorded the exchange in case cops tried using a chokehold, invoking the death of Eric Garner.
“I saw the cops starting shit and I said ‘Let me film this in case they do a chokehold and try to hurt [people],” Benito Caceres told ANIMAL in a phone interview.
Caceres, 50, was in Sunset Park with his wife and two daughters Sunday night having dinner at the Castillo De Yaque restaurant when he went outside to have a cigarette.
He said the black female officer started yelling at a woman who was selling corn-on-the-cob.
“They told her ‘Move your shit out of here,'” Caceres said. He later saw the female officer and told her he got her badge number “because you started all of this.” Caceres said that people were packing up their stuff, but it wasn’t fast enough for cops.
Caceres posted the the footage to Facebook because he wanted people to see the police brutality firsthand. He said that without the video, then there would be no proof. He cited the Garner incident as the reason why he felt it important to record as much as he could and said he has never shot a video like this before.
Caceres said he was shoved by an officer and asked him asked for his badge number, but the cop refused and told him to find him at the 72nd precinct. Caceres said he’s glad Internal Affairs is in investigating and that an officer has been suspended.
“We’re working class people I wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody,” Caceres said, “but those ladies were just trying to make a living. What the cops did was completely uncalled for.”