NYPD accused of anti-gay violence in Brooklyn incident

In New York City, three gay men are accusing the NYPD of homophobia and harassment, saying they were called anti-gay slurs, assaulted and wrongly arrested in a confrontation with officers last week: Brooklyn Police Beat Gay Man and Use Homophobic Slurs, Victim and Friends Say.

26-year-old Josh Williams says that he and two friends, Ben Collins and Antonio Maenza, were walking past the 79th Precinct police station when an officer accused one of the men of urinating against the station house and threw him against a squad car. During the ordeal, the men were pepper sprayed, handcuffed and called homophobic slurs.

Part of the incident was caught on video:

The encounter, which took place around 4 a.m. on Sunday, June 2, and is under investigation by NYPD Internal Affairs, erupted after an officer standing in the precinct parking lot mistakenly accused one of the men of urinating on the side of the stationhouse, and then called in as many as 5 other cops to join in the assault.

Williamsburg waiter Josh Williams [pictured above], 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds, suffered a laceration on his face that required four stitches, bruised ribs, a black eye, and scrape on his torso. Williams and his roommates--Tony Maenza and Ben Collins, both 24--were then arrested on specious charges in what they call an effort to cover-up the attack. Maenza made an iPhone video of a portion of the incident.

The Voice has also learned that NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau started investigating after someone apparently associated with the precinct filed a complaint.
Gay rights groups and anti-violence activists held a press conference with the men on Tuesday denouncing what they say is just latest act of harassment of the LGBT community by the NYPD. More here: Men Say Officers Used Anti-Gay Slurs During Confrontation In Brooklyn.

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