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NYPD Allegedly Beat Muslim Teen Girls, Ripped Off Their Hijabs And Maced Bystander

L-R: Khalia Wilson, 14; Lamis Chapman, 13; Shytika Wilson, 15; Jonathan Harris, 18. Photographed in the park on August 28, 2013. (Source: New York Daily News)

A group of Muslim teens were allegedly beaten up by NYPD officers on Monday, August 26, while playing handball in a Bronx park, and had their hijabs, or Muslim headscarves, torn off in the process.

Sisters Lamis Chapman, 12, and Khalia Wilson, 14, told the New York Daily News that they were playing handball on Monday, August 26, around 9:30pm at a park near their Bronx home when they were approached by NYPD officers who ordered them to leave because the park was closed.

The girls complied but as police followed them out they say one officer grabbed the younger sister, Khalia, from behind, put her in a chokehold and wrestled her to the ground. “They said they asked for ID. I didn’t hear them,” Khalia told the Daily News.

Lamis says that she was also thrown to the ground when she objected to the treatment of her little sister. It was then that the girls say the officers ripped off their hijabs.

The girls’ screams attracted a group of onlookers who demanded police back off, but this only emboldened them to call for backup. Before long, dozens of officers were on the scene.

When Shytike Wilson, the girls’ 15-year-old brother, heard their screams and saw them being tackled from his window, he rushed outside to help but was greeted with the same attitude shown to his sisters.

“I asked them why my sisters were in handcuffs. They charged me, picked me up, and slammed me on the floor,” he told the Daily News. 

At least one bystander, 18-year-old college student Jonathan Harris, attempted to record the incident but to no avail. As soon as he took out his cell phone, the female officer on top of Lamis said, “”Come here, you little motherf—er. You like recording?”, prompting him to run away.

According to Harris, another officer chased after him and tackled him to the ground, shoved his face into the dirt, twisted his arm behind his back, punched him in the face, and pepper-sprayed him. He recalled the officer shouting, “Where’s the phone? I’ll break your arm.”

A Police source denied the allegations, telling the Daily News that Harris was the aggressor and that the officers were were simply protecting the girls’ from him.

“The officers told the kids to leave (the park) when they began acting disorderly,” a police source said. The source said police were in the process of escorting the kids out of the park when Harris grabbed one of the girls away from the officers.

Harris was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental function. Police claim two cops were hospitalized for scrapes, bruises and sprains.

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident.

The NYPD isn’t exactly known for properly investigating itself so I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for an admission of misconduct.

Obviously, there’s no proof one way or another since it essentially boils down to the word of police officers against that of their alleged victims. But given the skin tone and religious affiliation of those who were brutalized, the accusations against the NYPD should not come as a surprise.

Between the racial profiling inherent in the NYPD “stop and frisk” policy and the department’s massive spying operations on the city’s Muslim community (i.e. the labeling of of Mosques as “terrorist organizations”), it’s a wonder these types of incidents aren’t happening more often.

And what does it say about the U.S. media when the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, Gothamist and FinancePost  were the only outlets to cover last week’s brutality?

  1. The NYPD needs to be disbanded.

    September 2, 2013
    • See something?–FILM it! Post It. Today, we are the media…and virtually everyone has a camera now. Let there be a thousand points of light. Speak truth to power.

      September 9, 2013
  2. mark haywood #

    Kind of bold of the cops to make this trouble when they know that there’s a good chance they’re being recorded on someone’s candid camera cell phone…. Cops have lost a most of their credibility with the public over the last few years, but still the court will probably accept the cops’ version of this incident cuz the city doesnt want to have to pay out huge sums of money in judgements and and legal fees to those girls.

    September 3, 2013
  3. Jenny Cecilia #

    this is awful!

    September 18, 2013

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  2. NYPD strip hijabs from Muslim sisters in Bronx park - Syndicated News Services
  3. Walmart workers’ biggest mobilization yet, revolving door journalism, NYPD and Texas Guard are terrible at Unreported

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