A newly-released surveillance video (below) contradicts an undercover NYPD police officer who arrested four people in Brooklyn for allegedly trying to rob him on Dec. 26, 2015, according to a defense lawyer.
Jean Scott, 33; Peterson Duplan, 28; Ricardi Joseph, 29; and Samantha Dabel, 24, said that they were approached by a man who tried to buy drugs from them at a hardware store.
Audrey A. Thomas, Scott's attorney, told The New York Daily News that Duplan recognized the man as an undercover cop, and said, "Get the f--- out of here."
"This case screams for the conclusion that there is no right way to view the video tape wrong," Thomas added.
In the video, which does not include audio, the undercover cop approaches Duplan, who is wearing a dark sweatshirt, and Scott, who sports a gray hoody and dark baseball hat. Duplan appears to verbally confront the undercover cop before brushing him off.
The undercover cop was identified as Winston McDonald, who testified in court that Duplan allegedly flashed a switchblade at him outside of the store, and said, "Give me your money or I will stab you," according to court papers cited by The Gothamist.
Duplan and his three friends allegedly surrounded McDonald and threatened him with, "We are going to f--- you up," according to McDonald.
In the video, the group is seen walking away from the store as McDonald follows them. The four suspects were arrested about 10 minutes later.
"The Detective's statements of facts are directly contradicted by the videotape," Thomas told the Daily News. "In light of this, justice can only be served, in this instance, by an immediate dismissal of all of the charges for all of the defendants."
An NYPD spokeswoman said that the attempted robbery of the undercover cop happened outside the store but referred questions to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, which refused to comment to the newspaper.
There doesn't appear to be an attempted robbery outside the store in the video.
All four friends were arrested and charged with resisting arrest, menacing, obstructing governmental administration and robbery, reports the Gothamist. Joseph was also charged with selling marijuana.
The NYPD confirmed that no switchblade was recovered from the crime scene.