City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing) is calling for the Queens district attorney to launch an investigation into allegations that several police officers from the 109th Precinct dragged a middle−aged Flushing man out of his car and beat him after he broadsided a police cruiser earlier this month.
At a news conference at his office Tuesday, a stern−faced Liu said Kuen Chau Wong, 46, was driving east on 35th Avenue when he collided with an NYPD vehicle from the 109th Precinct traveling north on Linden Place shortly before 11:30 p.m. last Thursday, injuring the officer in the driver’s seat.
According to witness testimony, Liu said, as many as 20 police officers arrived on the scene, which was just blocks from the 109th Precinct house, and four to five officers dragged Wong out of his car and began beating him against the wall of a nearby store.
“I have, unfortunately, fielded too many of these kinds of complaints since I’ve been here and I want a full investigation,” Liu said.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne said the incident was investigated by NYPD Internal Affairs and subsequently referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board for further investigation. The 109th Precinct said it could not comment and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association could not be reached.
Liu said several members of a nearby Korean church witnessed the incident.
One witness, identified only as Mrs. Choi, said she was leaving the church when she heard a loud crash. She said several members of the church came outside to find four to five officers allegedly standing around Wong and taking turns “pummeling” him before they were told to go back inside by another officer.
“When I saw them, I cried out ‘Why are you hitting this man? Why are you hitting this man when it was just a car accident?’” Choi said through a translator.
Liu said Wong was admitted to Flushing Hospital a short time later. After reviewing his medical records and viewing pictures of his injuries, the councilman said they were consistent with a physical attack and not a car accident.
“In all likelihood, he did cause the accident, but it was an accident and should have been treated as one by the officers,” Liu said. “He has the bruises to show for it. You don’t get those kinds of bruises from a car accident.”
Choi also said there was a man at the scene of the incident taking pictures with a cell phone camera and Liu implored the man to come forward to participate in the investigation.
Liu said Wong is fearful and has been advised not to comment on the incident until an investigation has been completed. The councilman has contacted Queens District Attorney Richard Brown about the case.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@
©2009 Community News Group
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