Justice

Video Catches New York Officers Using a Stun Gun on Pregnant Woman

February 15th 2017

By:
Willie Burnley Jr.

Around a dozen officers with the New York Police Department have been caught on tape surrounding a pregnant teenager inside a Bronx apartment building, using a stun gun on her while she was restrained. The teen, 17-year-old Dailene Rosario, was then taken into custody, though she maintains she did nothing wrong.

Both parties seem to agree that the officers originally responded to a complaint about a fight between Rosario’s boyfriend and her sister’s boyfriend, which Rosario said was over a video game. The argument had already ended by the time the officers arrived, she said. This is where the accounts diverge.

Rosario, who is 14 weeks pregnant, said she asked the officers for a warrant before they entered the apartment. At that point, she described a physical altercation breaking out:

“"He said, 'Oh you're refusing.' ... Next thing I know, he grabbed my arm and pulled me into the crowd of cops. Somebody was pinching me, and then I got tased.”

She says she repeatedly told the officers she was pregnant, and the viral video of the incident backs her up, showing that officers were told repeatedly by both her and her boyfriend.

Though burned and bruised, Rosario confirmed she had seen a doctor and that her baby girl was fine, according to the New York Daily News.

Officers claim that the confrontation began when Rosario pushed a cop into a door frame and resisted arrest. She was taken into custody on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to ATTN:'s request for comment.

Given the history of disproportionate force leveled against people of color by police officers, many on social media are outraged.

In 2015, New York City spent $4.5 million on tasers for the NYPD amid a national outcry over police brutality in the wake of video-taped police killings of unarmed black people. The devices are sold as a (generally) non-lethal alternative to firearms.

The NYPD loosened internal restrictions on stun guns in 2016 after a year of training approximately 4,000 officers on how to use the devices, putting the total number of those trained with stun guns in the department at around 10,000.

A draft report by the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), an independent oversight agency, noted that between 2014 and 2015 there were at least 153 formal complaints filed over the NYPD's use of stun guns. It recommended, among other things, prohibiting officers from using the weapons on restrained suspects; that recommendation was removed from the final report.