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VIDEO: Outrage after police filmed arresting naked grandmother

Officers from the NYPD face backlash after more controversial footage
Posted: 08/08/2014 12:18 PM
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VIDEO FOOTAGE showing a naked grandmother being dragged out of her home by armed police officers has caused widespread outrage in America.

The clip shows 48-year-old Denise Stewart being arrested by heavy-handed officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) in the stairwell of her Brooklyn apartment and has once again brought the force into disrepute.

Just last month, a man died after officers from the same New York department placed him in a chokehold when trying to arrest him.

Eric Garner’s death was later ruled as homicide.

Over a dozen police officers were called to Stewart’s apartment around 11.45pm on July 15, following a 911 call for a domestic disturbance.

The NYPD squad deployed claim they were not given an apartment number but after hearing shouting from Stewarts apartment, knocked the door and demanded entry to investigate.

Stewart, who had just left the shower, opened the door wearing only a towel to inform the police they had the wrong address.

After her refusal to allow police officials entry, it is alleged she was then forcibly dragged to the hallway. The footage taped by neighbour shows the chaotic scene that ensued before Stewart was arrested. The commotion resulted in her towel being removed.

After being restrained and handcuffed by male officers, the mother-of-four is propped up.

For approximately two minutes and 20 seconds, Stewart is shown bare-breasted in the hallway as additional police officers pass through the hallway, glancing at her.

Stewart, who suffers from asthma, can also be seen losing consciousness as she becomes increasingly distressed. Onlookers in the back can be heard saying “Yo, her mother got asthma ...y’all wicked”

It is only after Stewart pleads with the officers, “Oxygen, get my oxygen,” that an officer is prompted to retrieve her asthma pump.

Speaking to the Daily News, Stewart said: “It’s disgusting and embarrassing. I’ve been married 16 years. It took my husband 10 years to see my nakedness,” she said. “I didn’t do nothing wrong.”

A police spokesman said the incident is under investigation by Internal Affairs. According to the NYPD, the version of events alludes that Stewart’s 12-year-old daughter had “visible injuries” to her face. She told officers her mother and older sister beat her with a belt, police said.

Family members tried to prevent them from arresting Stewart, who bit an officer’s finger during the struggle.

Stewart's lawyer, Amy Rameau, said she was told by a Legal Aid attorney also assigned to the case that the 911 call came from a different apartment on an upper floor — and police officers went to Stewart’s door by mistake.

Following the event, Stewart was charged with assaulting a police officer. Her 20-year-old daughter, Diamond, has been charged with resisting arrest, acting in a manner injurious to a child and criminal possession of a weapon.

Stewart’s son Kirkland, 24, was also charged with resisting arrest.

The 12-year-old and alleged victim of abuse was charged with assaulting a police officer, criminal mischief and criminal possession of a weapon.

Diamond Stewart’s 4-year-old son was allegedly pepper sprayed by a female officer, the family said.

This incident follows a string of police related altercations and criticisms of the NYPD for excessive use of force.