Josh Boss, a journalist who was violently arrested while documenting a peaceful Occupy Wall Street March in 2011, will receive a $55,000 settlement from the city. A video of the altercation surrounding Boss’s arrest — in which Thomas Purtell throws him to the ground, then puts his knee in Boss’s face — is above.
Boss was arrested for disorderly conduct, spent five hours in jail, and was released. He later sued the city for false arrest, excessive force, and nerve damage to his hands caused by two sets of overly tight plastic cuffs.
“The circumstances of this arrest had an extreme chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of journalists in New York generally, and particularly on Josh, who stopped doing field reporting after this incident,” Wylie Steckow, an attorney at the firm that represented Boss, said in a statement. “For a senior commanding officer of the NYPD to target videographers and use excessive force like this, in front of so many subordinate officers and citizens, sets a terrible example. This incident- and the lies told about it- reflect a deeply rooted problem within the culture of the NYPD.”
Thomas Purtell, the arresting officer, was promoted to chief of the department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau under the Bloomberg administration, and Commissioner Bill Bratton is reportedly eyeing him for another promotion. In #myNYPD, apparently, the more needlessly brutal you are to citizens, the higher you rise.