Two police officers from Long Island have been suspended and four others, including a supervisor, have been placed on modified duty after bodycam video shows the two officers pushing and kicking a suspect who took police on a pursuit.
The two Suffolk County officers were suspended for the incident which took place on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in which the suspect, identified as Christopher Cruz, 30, who is undomiciled, fled from officers in a stolen vehicle and hit two police cruisers, said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart.
According to Hart, the incident occurred when officers attempted to arrest Cruz who was allegedly driving a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee rammed a police car at a gas station and fled, before crashing into a snowbank, and ramming another police crusier in Mount Sinai.
The abuse allegations came to light after the arrest, when officer a bodycam video shows the two suspended officers kick Cruz in the back of the leg and then kick him while he was down on the ground, said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Hart became aware of the video and alleged abuse on Thursday, Feb. 25, and sent the matter to internal affairs. After watching the video, Hart said she made the decision to suspended the officers and put the other four on modified duty because they allegedly did nothing to stop the abuse.
The matter has been turned over to the district attorneys for a criminal investigation, said Bellone.
During a press conference on Tuesday, March 2, Bellone called the incident "disturbing, unacceptable, and something that cannot be condoned."
Hart said the actions of the officers are not "reflective of the vast majority" of officers, but it sent a message that the department needed to "do better."
Cruz is currently out on supervised release, Hart said.
He had been charged with grand larceny, assault, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest for the incident.
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