Lawmaker Roughed Up by NYPD Files Complaint

BRONX (AP) -

A Bronx assemblyman who was handled roughly by a police officer Saturday when he tried to defuse an argument between officers and residents filed an excessive force complaint against the NYPD.

Assemblyman Michael Blake, a freshman Democrat, said the incident ended after a superior officer recognized him.

Blake says he tried to calm a heated situation at the Morris Houses complex after observing a woman in handcuffs and another woman and man arguing with an officer. He says the officer bear-hugged him, lifted him and pinned him to a gate.

The department says a sergeant and officer had responded to the dispute when Blake placed a hand on the sergeant’s shoulder without identifying himself. The officer perceived the touch as a possible threat to the sergeant. He’s apologized to Blake.

Blake denied touching the sergeant, alleging it was the color of his skin which caused the altercation. “I do believe that the level of response was far heightened because I’m a black man — no question,” he said.