Video allegedly shows NYPD officer stealing $1300 from man celebrating birthday

Video footage which allegedly shows a NYPD officer stealing around $1,300 in cash from a man celebrating his birthday has prompted the Brooklyn District Attorney to investigate the incident.

The altercation, occurring on September 16 in Coney Island, Brooklyn, shows an as-yet-unidentified officer searching Lamard Joye, 35, and his friends close to a basketball court.

Joye, who was celebrating his birthday at the time, can be seen in the video up against a fence being patted down by the officer in question. Then the officer appears to reach inside Joye’s pocket and extract something that looks like a wad of bills.

After this, Joye can be heard saying, “Give me money,” which prompts the officer to push him away and spray something from a canister—allegedly pepper spray—into his face. Joye stumbles away from the officer backwards as another witness can be heard repeating, “He just stole his money, he just stole his money.”

The video later pans out and shows at least one additional officer on the scene. The footage does not show the officer in question returning Joye’s belongings or the alleged $1200-$1,300 in cash. Joye’s attorney, Robert Marinelli, said that he believes that “this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft. This assumption was wrong. Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer. An incident like this would never occur in a more affluent section of the city.”

Marinelli said that Joye worked in construction and planned to use the cash to celebrate his 35th birthday on the night of the incident. In a statement regarding the events and footage, the NYPD said, “The incident was precipitated by a call of a man with a gun. When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered numerous people at the location. As a result of the allegations, the matter is under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau and CCRB [Civilian Complaint Review Board].”

Joye and his friends began shouting at police when they saw them arresting a man, identified as Terrell Haskins, with significant force and aggression. Joye and his friends shouted at the officers, “Is that really necessary?” according to the New York Daily News.

The officers then came over to search the group, which is when the video begins.

President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Patrick J. Lynch issued a strong statement on the night’s events, saying, “Resisting and interfering with an arrest is against the law. It is time to stop the amateur video activists who interfere with police operations from setting the agenda.”