Black Woman Sues NYPD in 6-Figure Suit For Alleged Race-Based Brutality

Black Woman Sues NYPD in 6-Figure Suit For Alleged Race-Based Brutality

The 23-year-old was allegedly violently detained in an incident her lawyer alleges mirrored the killing of George Floyd.

On May 2, 2020, 23-year-old Christine Greaves attended a Brooklyn funeral that was broken up by NYPD officers enforcing COVID lockdown rules on large gatherings. While recording the police presence on her phone, Greaves was allegedly violently detained in an incident her lawyer says mirrored the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police that happened weeks later on May 25.

Footage shows officers kneeling on Greaves, who can be heard pleading, “I can’t breathe,” echoing Floyd’s cries under the knee of ex-Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin. She is also heard screaming as officers allegedly punched and kicked her. Her lawyer, Ugochukwu Uzoh, said, “It’s really troubling when you watch the incident that happened, and that’s how George Floyd lost his life. Thankfully, my client is still alive.”

A lawsuit filed by Greaves in the Eastern District of New York on Dec. 3 named the city and several officers, accusing them of excessive force motivated by racial discrimination. Greaves argued in the lawsuit that she was brutalized “simply because she is black,” unlike white attendees of a Brooklyn rabbi’s funeral days earlier, which drew no police response, the news outlet noted.

The complaint alleged Captain Sean Claxton and Officer Michael Napolitano held Greaves down, with Napolitano “pinning her down and choking her by kneeling on her neck.” It added that her asthma allegedly prevented her from breathing properly.

Despite pleas from Greaves’ family to stop the assault, the officers handcuffed and dragged the 23-year-old, allegedly slamming her head and body against the police vehicle. She was reportedly denied medical care and access to a bathroom at the precinct and left with serious injuries.

Greaves was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, but prosecutors declined to pursue the case after an investigation. She is now seeking an estimated “six-figure” settlement.

Uzoh slammed the officers’ actions as “really awful,” occurring “just before the horrible George Floyd murder.” He said his client remains traumatized long after the incident, the news outlet noted.

The lawsuit comes amid intensified discussions on police brutality in minority communities after recent high-profile deaths at the hands of officers. Greaves’ complaint pointedly argued that she endured violence that she believed white New Yorkers would not face, vowing to hold the NYPD accountable.

Other officers named in the suit are Samantha Love, Sergeant Derek Jaffe, and Sergeant Harold Thompson.