Betraying the bold “COURTESY, PROFESSIONALISM, RESPECT” stamped on the side of his vehicle, a New York City Police Department officer pulled up alongside an ATV rider in a Bronx park and pointed his gun at him with his finger on the trigger.
Video from the ATV rider’s helmet camera shows an NYPD officer driving up alongside the rider’s vehicle, weapon drawn, ordering him to stop.
“I heard a noise. I looked to my right it was a cop car and he was like pointing his gun at me,” the ATV rider told PIX11. “I didn’t do anything violent to have a gun pointed at me. So I just tried to get away as quick as I can.”
The NYPD firearms and tactics guide says, “…because drawing the firearm is so provocative and alarming, it should be done only under circumstances in which officers reasonably believe that they may soon have to use deadly force to defend themselves or others against lethal assault.”
Although citizens are not permitted to ride ATVs through public parks, the officer appears to have responded with unreasonable escalation given the rider was not armed.
Indeed, the officer has been stripped of his badge and gun, and the Internal Affairs Bureau has opened an investigation, while the ATV rider has not been charged with any crimes.
This incident highlights another disturbing trend of police officers displaying excessive force for minor violations, a staple of the NYPD’s broken windows policy.