As we reported yesterday, cops were out in full force for the annual "Broadway Bomb," a nearly 8-mile Manhattan race for longboard aficionados in which they skate from West 116th Street down to the Charging Bull in the Financial District. Altogether, police issued summonses to at least 35 skateboarders. But witnesses also told us that some skateboarders were handcuffed at the different trap points—and one skateboarder says he was assaulted by cops. "Not only had they unnecessarily assaulted me, but they had accessed my phone without my permission and deleted all evidence I had of them doing so," Kyle McCabe told us.
McCabe is the 20-year-old College of New Jersey student who started CondAm, an emergency condom delivery service. McCabe says he had lost the group and was skating solo down a side street towards the intersection of Columbus and 60th Street when he ran into cops. "He told me to get off my board and give it to him, to which I complied," he said. "He also asked for my i.d., to which I also complied. While giving him my information, I asked why I was being detained. He told me to just stay where I was and calm down."
At this point, McCabe took out his phone and started taking video of what was happening (which is entirely legal so long as you aren't legitimately interfering with law enforcement activity ) as he approached two other cops to ask why he was being detained. Eventually, he asked the cop who first detained him (who he says was "Officer Perez") why he was being held, which is when things got heated:
I walked up to him, still holding my phone, and asked him why I was being detained. Without warning, he grabbed my phone, and charged me. He tackled me over his motorcycle. Three cops descended on me, completely overpowering me. They yanked my arms out from under me (since I had braced myself from completely breaking my face when I fell into the motorcycle, my hands were now under me) hitting and struggling with me in the process. I was not resisting in the slightest, but from an outsider's perspective, the cops would've made it look like I was fighting for my life. They picked me up after I was in cuffs and threw me down on the sidewalk. I kept asking them why I was being detained and they told me if I didn't shut up that they would book me for knocking the officer and his bike over.
At least one person witnessed this scene as well:
— Erol Shadood (@Thtkidno1knows) October 12, 2013
McCabe said another cop approached him "finally talking to me like a person," and stayed with him while he was in handcuffs: "He stood by me the rest of the time, talking to me and making me feel better. His actions were commendable. He was the only officer I interacted with that had even the smallest modicum of decency."
McCabe was ultimately given a ticket for obstructing pedestrian traffic and let go. However, the aggressive officers were still on him: "[They threatened] to take me to prison if I didn't stop asking questions. When asking them why, they said they would say that I attacked the officer, and no one would say otherwise." Then he realized his phone was cracked and the cops had erased multiple videos he had taken that day.
"At the time of the incident, there was no sign that I was [part of the "Broadway Bomb"] and I was being completely lawful in my skating," McCabe wrote. "Also, I am not arguing the summons I received for skating. I am arguing the abuse that I endured under the cops, which was completely unnecessary, given my own actions."
Below, you can see a few videos of cops confronting and detaining skateboarders around the city during the Bomb.