New York, NY – A man who was featured fighting with New York police officers on Tuesday in a now-viral video admitted he’s running scams so he can sue the city, according to a police union (video below).
Late Wednesday night, the New York City Police Benevolent Association (NYCPBA) released a video from a Facebook post by Aaron Grissom that featured his buddy William Sidney explaining how it all worked.
Grissom and Sidney were the two men arrested after the violent brawl with police on a street corner in Washington Heights on Jan. 8.
“Every case I got, I beat. I do this,” Sidney bragged into the camera, as he admitted that he started fights with police officers in order to sue the city, the union said. “Ask the 25th Precinct about me, the 67th, the 73rd, the 69th in Canarsie. Yeah, they know me.”
“They don’t like me but they can’t touch me because they get hurt and I get paid,” the career criminal continued.
“I got three lawsuits, working on number four,” Sidney boasted in the video. “Keep f--king with me police, I’m gonna show you what it is. These hands, these hands work.”
“F--k the police,” he concluded.
The impending fourth lawsuit that Sidney referred to was likely the incident that occurred a day earlier, when two police officers were seen using their collapsible batons to subdue a man who was resisting arrest.
The incident began shortly before 2:30 on Tuesday when subway riders in Washington Heights began calling police to complain about the behavior of Sidney and Grissom on the platform, the New York Post reported.
Officers responded to the scene and encountered the 37-year-old Sidney and 36-year-old Grissom in the subway station.
The New York Post reported that both men left the station once police arrived, but then they got into an altercation with the officers back up at street level.
The video, which is loudly narrated in what some commenters identified as Dominican Republic Spanish, was posted to Instagram on Tuesday night.
It showed Sidney and Grissom standing in an intersection arguing with two police officers, and then one officer pulled out his collapsible baton and extended it.
The first officer took a swipe at one man. Then the second officer extended his baton and hit the suspect with it, the video showed.
The second suspect went after the second cop at the point, and took him to the ground in the street next to a car. Although some of the view is blocked, they can be seen struggling on the ground in the video.
A good Samaritan who was crossing the street saw the officer fighting with the suspect and ran to help him.
The video showed the man kicked at the suspect on the ground several times before yet another citizen jumped in to help police subdue him.
Both officers struck the man on the ground with their batons as he continued to resist arrest, the video showed.
He appeared to have been subdued just before an NYPD police SUV rolled up on the scene to back up the first two officers.
Police said Sidney and Grissom were both arrested and charged with felony assault, resisting arrest, menacing, disorderly conduct, and loitering, according to the New York Post.
Sidney was also charged with aggravated harassment, according to police.
When the video went viral, many viewers were outraged by the officers’ use of force with the men. People jumped to conclusions and called for intervention.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) told the New York Post that it was investigating the incident.
But then NYCPBA released a statement with the video of Sidney bragging that pointed out how the anti-police sentiment espoused by many on social media has caused people to jump to conclusions.
“The anti-police atmosphere that has been generated by many in this city for political gain has created a cottage industry where mopes like William Sidney make money through the use of staged, videotaped events,” the police union explained. “Sidney incites an arrest by physically assaulting an officer and using a video tape, conveniently recorded by a partner, to portray himself as a victim.”
“He intentionally does not comply with a legal order by police to give up his hands for cuffing so that they use necessary force to gain compliance,” their statement continued.
“Their staged video, posted on social media, goes viral and generates outrage from elected officials and activists. The false narrative causes DAs to drop the charge of assault of a officer which then sets the City up as a patsy for the false arrest suit,” the union said.
“This is the kind outrageous and offensive behavior that NYC police officers have to deal with routinely. It underscores the reason why all such videos should be ignored until the totality of circumstances are revealed through a thorough investigation,” the NYCPBA wrote in their statement. “This case is a perfect example of why our city’s leaders should not react in any way to uninvestigated videos promoted through social media.”
Watch you can see the video of the suspect bragging about getting paid below: