Video of questionable arrest of on-duty letter carrier sparks outrage, concern
On March 17 , Brooklyn letter carrier Glen Grays Jr. had parked his postal vehicle and was preparing to deliver a package when he had a troubling encounter with police that led to his arrest. Smartphone video of that arrest sparked outrage and led many, including the mayor of New York and the city’s police commissioner, to raise questions about the police officers’ behavior in the incident.
Grays, a Brooklyn Branch 41 member, was exiting his vehicle when he noticed a car making a sharp, dangerous
turn near him. Grays had to climb back into his vehicle to avoid getting hit. He allegedly shouted at the driver
of the car. According to Grays, the car came tearing back and the driver said, “I have the right of way because I’m law enforcement.”
Grays continued his attempt to deliver the package when the four plain-clothes officers from the unmarked
police car got out and approached him. An observer recorded a video of the arrest. In the video, the officers demanded Grays’ identification. “My ID’s right there on the side of the truck,” the carrier said. “Let’s go get your ID,” one of the officers said.
Grays told the officer that he had mail to deliver, and the officers then handcuffed and frisked him. They told Grays to stop resisting, though the video doesn’t appear to show evidence of resistance. The carrier said that the officers put him in the back of their car with his hands still cuffed and without a seatbelt, leaving the mail truck unattended. According to Grays, the driver turned around to taunt him and hit the vehicle in front of them, causing the letter carrier to bang his shoulder against the front seat.
He was taken to the 71st Precinct Station, detained for a few hours, and issued a summons for disorderly conduct, a summons that will require him to appear in court. It’s the first time he’s ever been arrested and he has no criminal record.
“I was extremely terrified,” Grays told “CBS This Morning.” “The only thing that saved me, I think, is because
I was on videotape. I was afraid if I didn’t comply, something was going to happen to me. “I don’t hate cops. I’m marrying one,” he said, pointing out that his fiancée is a New York City police officer.
“NALC is troubled by this incident,” NALC President Fredric Rolando told The Washington Post. “We trust that
the police department will investigate this matter thoroughly and expeditiously, and that any necessary actions
will be taken.”
The USPS Office of Inspector General has announced that it is investigating the incident, raising questions
about a possible violation of federal law by interrupting mail delivery and leaving mail unsecured.
According to The New York Times, in the last six years at least three of the four involved have been named
in federal civil rights suits alleging false arrest, among other claims, with at least one case settled out of court.
“I would like to believe the majority of our fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement, who serve the
same communities we do, would be appalled and embarrassed by the lack of respect shown to Brother Grays and
all letter carriers in uniform,” President Rolando said. Read more: NALC Postal Record – May 2016
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