Police arrested an on-duty mailman last week in Crown Heights after he objected to their driving, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Adams held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to decry the arrest of Glenn Grays, which took place on the afternoon of March 17th.
Adams recounted that Grays, 27, stepped out of his mail truck on President Street at around 4 p.m. as officers in an unmarked car drove by and nearly clipped him. The plainclothes officers later recounted Grays being “loud and boisterous” and cursing at them. A video of the incident purportedly picks up at this point.
The cellphone footage shows the four undercover cops, one of whom Adams says is a lieutenant, surround Grays and demand to see his identification. When he doesn’t immediately run back to the mail truck to retrieve it, two officers close in on him, over the objections of gathered bystanders.
“Stop resisting!” one officer repeats as Grays appears to hold his arms stiff while the cop tries to cuff him.
“You’re going to get hurt if you don’t give me your fucking hands,” the other officer says.
After a tense moment, the four officers get Grays in cuffs and march him to their car. Adams said that from there, they drove him to the 71st Precinct station house, leaving his truck unsecured.
Grays has no criminal history, and was released with a ticket for resisting arrest. Adams called that a way of the NYPD “sweeping the incident under the rug.” He is demanding that the officers be reprimanded for what he said is a bogus arrest emblematic of how they deal with predominately African-American and Caribbean residents of Crown Heights.
“It is not against the law to voice outrage after almost being struck by a vehicle,” Adams told reporters. “This could have been another Eric Garner situation if Glenn hadn’t responded as calmly as he did. And if they would do that to Glenn in his uniform, they would do that to any person of color in that neighborhood.”
Adams was joined at the podium by Grays’s mother, Sonya Sapp, and Michael Thomas, Grays’s longtime friend.
“I have six boys. Glenn is my oldest,” Sapp said. “As soon as I saw the video, I immediately started crying, because I worry about all my boys. Every minute, every day, every second.”
“Glenn told me, ‘I thought if I got a job they would leave me alone,'” Thomas said.
Grays attended the press conference, but did not speak because of the pending charge.
Adams, a retired NYPD officer and co-founder of the group 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, is scheduled to meet with police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Wednesday to discuss the case.
“We must send a strong message that innocent people should not be put in handcuffs, taken to a precinct, and then attempted to cover it up,” he said. “That is unacceptable. This is one step away from Staten Island.”