An NYPD officer is being accused of police brutality after he nearly killed 14-year-old Javier Payne during an arrest. The officer smashed Payne’s head through a window after he was already handcuffed. The smash cut the boy’s face, sliced open his chest, and punctured one of his lungs.
The incident took place last Saturday at 11 p.m. Payne and a 13-year-old friend were leaving a local shop when two officers confronted them. For reasons unknown, the officers decided to arrest both of the boys. It was then that the officer took Payne, already in handcuffs, and smashed his head through a window.
It was clear to witnesses that Payne was in dire need of medical help after the incident.
“He looked like a young man who was facing down his own mortality,” said one witness. “This is a kid who was staring at his own doom. He looked like he was going to die."
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The officer’s failure to report Payne’s condition as an emergency almost killed him, too. The officer called paramedics to the scene under the same protocol used to report drunk people. Accordingly, paramedics took much longer to arrive.
Payne’s troubles were not over once EMS crews arrived. Upon seeing that the boy was in critical condition, paramedics said the officer needed to undo his handcuffs. The officer initially refused, and paramedics had to argue with him for several minutes before he would comply. One paramedic had to hold Payne’s chest wound closed as he was rushed to the hospital.
Despite the clear emergency taking place in front of them, witnesses described the officer’s behavior as “nonchalant.”
Once at the hospital, Payne was rushed into hours of surgery. His mother, Cherita Payne, was not allowed to see him until the following evening. He started sobbing when she entered the room.
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“Mommy, Mommy,” he said. “The cop, he pushed my head through the window while I was handcuffed, Mommy, he pushed my head through the window.”
Cherita told the Juvenile Justice Exchange she tried her best to comfort him.
“I said, ‘It’s going to be all right, it’s going to be all right, I’m going to protect you,’” she said. “That’s my job. That’s my job isn’t it? That’s my job as his mother. I’m so tired of this shit, pardon my language, but I’m so tired, so tired. Help me Jesus, in the name of the Lord, help me.”
The involved officers did not mention the smash in their report of Payne’s arrest. The boy and his friend were both charged with resisting arrest, obstructing government administration and assault.
Prominent New York City lawyer Sanford Rubenstein picked up Payne’s case and vows to both fight the charges and hold the officer responsible for his attack on Payne.
“I know from past experiences that the NYPD routinely does this,” Rubenstein said.
Cherita says she desperately needs to see justice served.
“You just don’t know what this is doing to me,” she said. “Seeing him like this is tearing me apart. I can’t see him like that anymore. You got to stop this, you got to put a stop to this. We’ve got to stand up for ourselves, for our children. We’re human. We have rights. My kid has rights, too.”
Photo credit: Juvenile Justice Exchange