On St. Patrick’s Day, Glen Grays was just another mail carrier working in New York trying to deliver the mail. But on that day, Grays discovered that his status as a uniformed federal employee wouldn’t prevent him from being harassed and arrested by NYPD thugs hell bent on proving they are the “baddest gang” in town. Here’s the video.
According to CBS News, Grays said he was delivering a package when he noticed an unmarked police car almost sideswipe his mail truck. Grays told the officers that they almost hit his vehicle, and that’s when the trouble began.
Within seconds, the 27-year-old mail carrier was surrounded by plainclothes NYPD officers who began to harass him for his impudence. Fortunately, someone with a cell phone was right there to record the incident. Transcript via CBS News.
‘My ID right there on the side of the truck,’ Grays is heard saying in the video.
‘Let’s go get your ID,’ an officer says.
‘I’m not going nowhere. I’m delivering my postal route,’ Grays responds.
At that point, Grays was placed in handcuffs while his truck was left unattended.
‘The only thing I think saved me is that it was on videotape,’ Grays said. He said he tried to comply with the officers’ orders.
‘Never been arrested, never received a summons. I was extremely terrified. I wouldn’t say afraid – I passed the stage of afraid,’ Grays said. ‘I was afraid that if I didn’t comply that something was going to happen to me.’
The footage ends with Grays being handcuffed and put in the back of the same unmarked vehicle that he claims almost hit his mail truck.
While being driven to the police station, Grays said officers told him to “shut up a numerous amount of times.”
‘They rear ended the car and I wind up from the back seat, banged my left shoulder onto the driver seat and banged my face into their armrest,’ Grays said.
The Eric Garner video highlighted the apprehension and fear many African-American New Yorkers feel when they encounter the NYPD. Far too often, law abiding minorities have their dignity stripped away as they are compelled to submit to often fruitless frisking by the NYPD, sometimes more than once a day. Like the Garner video, this footage also sends a message which says that almost no occupation is above unjust scrutiny by the NYPD.
‘If it can happen to the mailman, it can happen to anyone in the community,’ said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former NYPD captain.
‘Those officers were extremely aggressive and I believe that they wanted him to resist. He was smart enough not to resist,’ he said. ‘I believe because of that, he’s sitting here today telling his story.’
There have also been cases where NYPD officers out of uniform have suffered harassment.
In 2008, three-star NYPD Police Chief Douglas Zeigler was off-duty parked in a police issued SUV when two uniformed NYPD officers approached his vehicle. Zeigler said that one of the officers saw his service weapon and yelled “Gun!” Both officers then drew their weapons on the chief, with one officer ordering him to exit the vehicle. According to Zeigler, even after they saw the police ID badge around his neck, the officers still chose not to believe him.
‘One grabbed my arm and I said, ‘You know, my wife is a cop.’ He told me he doesn’t care,’ Grays said.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on Monday that he was “not pleased” with what he saw in the video, noting that the participating officers should have been in uniform.
Grays is scheduled to appear in court in May for disorderly conduct charges. CBS News reports that the NYPD has placed all three officers and their lieutenant on “general patrol” duties pending an investigation.
The young mail carrier hasn’t returned to work yet, stating that he wants justice but not revenge.
‘I don’t want them to be jobless because they might have family, kids they need to support,’ Grays said. ‘It’s sad that I thought that when I put on a uniform that I’ll be treated a little different, but it’s no difference. You know, I’m just another brother with a uniform.’
Featured image Screengrab via YouTube.