Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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NY1 Exclusive: Brooklyn Woman Speaks About Arrest Caught on Video

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A woman seen on cell phone video being arrested is now speaking out about the incident. She says police were in the wrong. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following exclusive report.

Repeatedly breaking down in tears, Denise Stewart tells NY1 she did nothing wrong to cause NYPD officers to drag her out of her Brooklyn apartment only in underwear and arrest her.

"It's terrible! It's terrible! Terrible!"

Several neighbors shot video of the incident with cell phones.

"Humiliated, embarrassed...I have nightmares. I don't sleep at night. I just saw my life flash in front of me," Stewart says.

In the video, you can hear Stewart and her children scream several times that she has asthma and she can't breathe.

Police say they went to the Kings Highway building on July 13 responding to a call that Stewart was beating her 12-year-old daughter—an allegation Stewart vehemently denies.

The girl's Legal Aid lawyer says no abuse was found, but police insist the child had bruises.

Police admit they didn't have an apartment number when they confronted the family. Stewart says cops lied because they burst into the wrong home and that at least one cop realized that.

"I was peeping out of the door and he tapped him and says the wrong apartment. He said it. And he still ask the question, 'can I come in?'" Stewart says.

She says that when all hell broke loose and her family was pepper sprayed.

"A four-year-old baby—they sprayed him in the face," says one man in the video.

"I couldn't breathe and the way they were doing me like I was a criminal," Stewart says.

The former home health aide says she already uses oxygen to help her breathe and has a leg injury, ailments that have kept her out of work for a year.

Stewart and her attorney, Amy Rameau, say they want all of the officers involved in her arrest to be disciplined.

"The officers you see on camera in this case are a part of what's referred to as an impact team. They are rookies, fresh out of the academy. That's the information that I received. They are out together as a group and the idea is for them to get experience," Rameau says.

So far the NYPD and Brooklyn District Attorney maintain the 12-year-old was abused and Stewart resisted arrest.

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