The NYPD held a disciplinary trial Wednesday for a sergeant accused of using too much force when he pushed a teenage assault suspect into a store window. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
The NYPD sergeant caught on video pushing a handcuffed 14-year-old into a Bronx store window was on the hot seat at police headquarters.
Sergeant Eliezer Pabon testified during a disciplinary hearing on whether he used excessive force. His lawyer, Andrew Quinn, says the officer was only trying to stop the teen from running.
"The last thing they wanted was a handcuffed 14-year-old running the streets of the Bronx. If he trips, he can't protect himself. If he runs in front of a car, he can get hurt," Quinn said. "They were very very concerned. That's why he went to restrain him."
Javier Payne was in the eighth grade in May 2014 when he and a friend were arrested on suspicion of assaulting a man and the confrontation with Pabon occurred.
The sergeant's lawyer says the window shattered not because of force but because it had a defect.
Testifying about the incident, Sergeant Pabon said, "It was the minimum amount of force I could use for a kid that size," adding, "I wasn't looking to hurt this kid."
But the barely-90-pound teen was seriously injured, with glass embedding his chest. He still has the scars.
Now 16, Payne testified that he cursed at the officers because he and his friend had been attacked by the man they were accused of assaulting.
"I was trying to move away so I could speak to the officer," Payne testified, "...to tell him we were victims in the case," adding, "He mushed the back of my head to the glass."
The Bronx DA's office declined to bring criminal charges, but the NYPD Advocate's office, a kind of internal prosecutor, told the judge that the sergeant snapped and is making excuses for his aggressive actions.
Payne and his family are suing the sergeant and the NYPD for millions.
"You can see this young man was handcuffed when he was violently thrown against the window, which shattered," said Sanford Rubenstein, Payne's attorney.
The NYPD Advocate's office is requesting that Sergeant Pabon have 30 vacation days taken away. The police commissioner has the final say.