At an NYPD trial on Thursday, a Brooklyn man says he was stopped-and-frisked and briefly cuffed for returning items at a Manhattan store on November 2012 (and no, it wasn’t Barney’s). His crime: shopping while black. After the encounter, part of which was captured on video by a passerby, Jermaine Johnakin filed a complaint against Officers Whittaker Young and Kenneth Rosello reports the Daily News:
Rosello, who is white, followed Johnakin into a Sephora after seeing him with a packed shopping bag. The plainclothes cop tasked with preventing larceny in the 1st Precinct watched Johnakin return the items.
Rosello and Young, who is black, then pulled over Johnakin and his girlfriend, Kydedra Odiase.
Johnakin and Odiase were both cuffed, detained, and placed in a marked patrol car. “Wait, wait, what is this for?” said a rightfully angered Johnakin.
They were eventually released and not charged, although police did issue them a traffic-related summons. As if this story couldn’t get anymore cringeworthy, the Daily News says Odiase “previously worked in store security for Sephora.”
A defense lawyer representing the cops claimed his clients acted properly:
[T]he cops’ defense attorney, Mike Martinez, said it was simply “proactive policing.” “They saw something that piqued their curiosity,” he said.
In 2012, the NYPD conducted 532,911 stop-and-frisks. Of those detained, 87% were black or Hispanic and 89% of the time, they were innocent.
If the cops are found guilty, they are looking at some serious punishment according to the paper:
The officers could face a loss of vacation time.