Yonkers, NY – A combative man who said he tried to bite a police officer during a fight at a traffic stop has alleged that police stopped and beat him because he is black.
Terrence Shaw, who claimed he is a former Jamaica Defence Force special operations officer, said he was pulled over on Saturday morning for no reason, WPIX reported.
According to the Yonkers Police Department, the incident occurred at approximately 1:45 a.m., when an officer spotted Shaw driving erratically at a high rate of speed on Palmer Road.
Shaw’s vehicle also allegedly crossed the double yellow line on several occasions.
Although Shaw pulled over, he refused to provide the officer with his identification after multiple requests, so he was ordered to get out of the vehicle, police said.
But Shaw claimed that the officer ordered him out of the vehicle without asking for his identification first.
“At first they asked me to get out of the vehicle, which I did, and they asked me to go get my ID,” he told WPIX. “On the way to get my ID, he pulled me back and asked me where I was going. I said, 'you just asked me for my ID, so that’s what I’m gonna get.'”
According to Shaw, the officer then handcuffed one of his hands and slapped him in the face.
“I said, ‘what was that for?’” Shaw told WPIX. “By the time I could ask that question I was tased by the female cop.”
“I was like, ‘because I’m black?’ One of them said ‘yeah, black s--t,’” Shaw claimed. “They were calling me all type of names.”
He said he attempted to run away because he “saw a spite in one of the cops,” but that the officers were able to catch up to him after he fell down.
Shaw claimed the officers then began beating him in his head and body, and said he tried to bite one of the officers, but only because they were preventing him from fighting back.
“I got injuries to the eye…my head…I have scratch all over my body,” he told WPIX. “Kicking, punching, stomping, squeezing.”
“I was scared,” he said. “I was shouting for help.”
After the altercation, Shaw was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injures.
Investigators are also awaiting toxicology reports to determine if Shaw was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the altercation.
He was subsequently charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, felony assault, speeding, and reckless driving, and was released after posting $5,000 bail.
Shaw claimed that the officers targeted him because he is black, and that they used excessive force during the encounter.
“Police officers sometimes come into contact with individuals who refuse to comply with verbal requests and directions, Yonkers Police Department Public Information Officer Detective Sergeant Dean Politopoulos said in a statement to WPIX.
“In a few of these instances, officers may have to utilize physical force to overcome physical resistance, as is the case with Terrence Shaw,” the statement read. “Our officers had a duty to investigate the reckless operation of that vehicle on residential streets.”
“If Shaw had complied with officers at scene, the situation would not have elevated to one requiring the use of force,” Sgt. Politopoulos added.
A preliminary investigation indicated the officers acted according to policy during Shaw’s arrest, and a more in-depth internal investigation is still underway.