BP Eric Adams livid after four cops violently arrest on-duty mailman in Crown Heights
Glenn Grays, a 27-year-old postal worker from East New York, was delivering packages on President Street in Crown Heights last Thursday when an undercover police car nearly struck him.
In disbelief, the mailman yelled at the unmarked vehicle.
The car then stopped, reversed and emptied four plainclothes officers and a lieutenant who subsequently accosted and forcefully arrested Grays, leaving his mail truck unattended and a package spewed on the pavement.
The postal worker was brought to the 71st Precinct police station and given a summons.
The entire encounter was captured on the cellphones of bystanders, who can be heard inquiring as to why Grays was being arrested.
The NYPD on Tuesday said the incident was under review.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams expressed his anger at the “horrific incident” and urged the internal affairs to take quick disciplinary action against the officers responsible for the contentious arrest.
“It is not a crime for someone to voice outrage after almost being struck by a vehicle,” Adams said at the press conference, where he presented the captured cellphone video. “It is not a crime to state that you’re angry at someone who almost hit you. That is not a crime.”
Grays’ family, as well as members of his union, the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 41, joined Adams at the press conference.
“They place handcuffs on an on-duty postal employee delivering the U.S. mail,” Adams continued. “If they would do that to him in his postal uniform, they would do it to any person of color in that community.”
Adams also commented on the officers’ attempt to cover up the incident.
“They issued him a summons in hopes of sweeping this under the rug,” said Adams, who is immediately calling for the lieutenant and the officers involved to be removed from plainclothes and be put back into uniform.
Adams also commented on the fact that the NYPD could be in hot water for leaving the mail truck unattended and unsecured.
“I believe there were federal violations. Number one, leaving that truck unsecured. Number two, interrupting the delivery of mail. There are clear NYPD procedures when you are arresting a federal employee,” he said. “We don’t know if even those basic procedures were followed.”
Adams, who said this incident “is unacceptable,” spoke about the effect this arrest could have on Grays.
“It is traumatizing to be arrested,” said Adams. The police “traumatized Glenn and then, while driving to the precinct in their heightened state of anxiety, they strike the rear of a vehicle while refusing to buckle [Grays] in, and he received additional injuries while being transported to the precinct.”
Grays has never received a summons, has never been arrested and has never had any negative encounters with the police.
Cornell Powell, 27, a black USPS mail delivery driver who delivers packages in Brooklyn Heights, says the police were out of line.
“[The police] should get in trouble,” Powell told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The same exact thing could happen to me. If they almost hit me I would have said the same thing, like, ‘What’s that all about?’
“It’s wrong because it was an unmarked police car,” Powell continued. “They need to have respect for the federal government and its employees. They could have hit [Grays].”
As for leaving the mail truck unattended, Powell says the police should have “at least” called the postal office to let them know the truck was unsecure.
Eddie, 44, who has delivered packages for UPS for 11 years, agreed with Powell.
“The police overreacted,” said Eddie. “The cops aren’t blind. They saw the [USPS] truck. The federal government should get involved.”
Adams said Tuesday, “Our officers are supposed to be empowered with conflict resolution skills so that they can have a conversation to resolve conflicts so that it does not escalate to an arrest.”
“This could have been another Eric Garner situation if Glenn had not responded as calmly as he did,” Adams continued.
Watch Adams’ press conference and the cellphone footage of the arrest here: