Brooklyn Prosecutors Investigating Alleged Police Beating of Gay Man
The Brooklyn District Attorney's office is looking into the June 2 beating of a gay man by police who used homophobic slurs outside the 79th Precinct, two officials tell the Voice.
The police officer who appears to have instigated the incident was identified as Kharl Pinnock. Court records indicate he had been named in three prior lawsuits, including a case in which a female motorist's breasts were exposed during a traffic stop.
Meanwhile, supporters, several councilmembers, and and alphabet soup of gay advocacy groups held a short protest/news conference outside police headquarters yesterday. Josh Williams, 24, who suffered stitches on his face, bruised ribs and a black eye, told the crowd he was speaking out because he "didn't want what happened to him to happen to anyone else."
Advocates called on the council to pass the Commuity Safety Act, which would create an inspector general over the police department, and strengthen anti-discrimination laws.
Councilman Daniel Dromm said the incident should be investigated as a criminal act. "It's the police department's job to defend the community, not attack the community," he said.
One of the lawsuits involving Pinnock started with a routine car stop. A woman was dropping off trash bags. The encounter escalated into an argument between the woman and a female officer, and then a shoving match, during which the woman's breasts were inadvertently exposed. The case settled for $15,000.
A senior Brooklyn prosecutor who observed the press conference told the Voice that the incident was under investigation. He declined further comment.