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NY Police Accused Of Roughing Up Muslim Children And Ripping Off Their Hijabs
The teens say they were roughed up and cuffed for no reason as they were asked to leave a park after closing hours. The cops say they were disorderly.
Lamis Chapman, 12, and Khalia Wilson, 14, were playing handball at 9:30 p.m. in a park near their home in the Lester Patterson Houses in Mott Haven.
The girls said police approached them, and told them to leave because the park was closed. Police followed them out, the girls said, and one grabbed Khalia from behind in a chokehold, wrestling her to the ground.
“They said they asked for ID. I didn’t hear them,” Khalia said.
Lamis said she told the cop to get off her sister, and the officer’s female partner threw Lamis to the ground. As they lay on the ground, the girls, who are Muslim, said the cops ripped off their hijabs, a Muslim headscarf.
“They didn’t say anything,” Khalia added. “I kept saying, ‘I’m 14! What are you doing? We’re not bad kids.’”
…Jonathan Harris, an 18-year-old college student, said he heard the girls’ screams and ran to the park. He said he told the cops to leave the girls alone, then took out his cell phone to record the female officer atop Lamis.
“Come here, you little motherf—er,” the cop said, according to Harris. “You like recording?”
Harris said he sprinted towards a nearby building, but an officer caught him and tackled him, pushing his face in the dirt, and wrenching his arm behind his back. He said one officer punched him in his eye while he was down.
“Where’s the phone?” the officer screamed, Harris said. “I’ll break your arm.”
Harris said he was also pepper-sprayed during the melee.