NYPD Sgt. Kenneth Kissiedu, a 16-year veteran, was arrested in 2010 on allegations that he obstructed a larceny investigation. There were allegations of police brutality with racial overtones sparking controversy in Yonkers. The New York City cop, an African-American out of uniform at the time, says he was assaulted by two cops from Yonkers, both white and in uniform. To add insult to injury, Kissiedu was arrested Feb 2010 by Yonkers police for obstructing governmental administration, he was later acquitted in 2011.
Kissiedu then filed a federal lawsuit against Yonkers in 2013, alleging violations of his civil rights. The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a $198,000 settlement for a New York City police sergeant who said he was beaten by Yonkers police officers.
Kissiedu was off duty and heading to work the midnight shift in the Bronx’s 41st Precinct, when the incident happened. He left a Main Street automated teller machine and was on Buena Vista Avenue when he was approached by two Yonkers officers in a cruiser who were looking for a Hispanic man. He was walking to his car after withdrawing money from the same ATM where a woman had just gotten her purse snatched. He was on his way to work the midnight shift in the Bronx when he was stopped by officers who say he fit the suspect’s description.
“The onus is on the uniformed officers to step back, give clear commands of what you’re looking for, not just grab people, beat them up and find out that they are officers and lock them up,” said Corey Pegues, a former NYPD Inspector.
Several black law enforcement groups turned out in support of Kissiedu, who was thrown to the ground and slightly injured his hand. He was cuffed before police found his ID and shield in his pocket. But the head of the Yonkers police union says Kissiedu largely brought it upon himself.
“He, as an officer, should know better than anybody how to handle these things,” Yonkers PBA president Keith Olson said. “He refused to cooperate. He was belligerent. He cursed at the officers.”
BW has documented several incidents of racial overtones when it comes to the Yonkers Police Department.