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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cop Shown Clubbing Cuffed Vet

Cop shown clubbing cuffed vet, taking call, then going on the attack again
The New York Daily News by OREN YANIV AND ALISON GENDAR - July 31, 2008

A city cop caught on tape beating a handcuffed Army vet paused to take a phone call and then went right back to smashing the man with his baton, police sources told the Daily News. Officer David London, 43, was stripped of his gun and badge Monday and placed on desk duty as the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau investigated the July 18 incident, sources said. "He takes a cell phone break, then turns back to tuning up the [suspect]. He did it while the building security camera was rolling," a source said. London and his partner stopped Walter Harvin, 28, as he tried to enter the DeHostos Apartment on W. 93rd St., where Harvin's mother lives, about 1:15 a.m. "I told him don't close it because I don't have the keys," said Harvin, a vet who was discharged in 2004 for posttraumatic stress disorder. "As I walked into the elevator he grabbed my arm. That's when I pushed him," Harvin said. "I was on the floor and he kept beating me with the stick. He sprayed me with Mace. While I was on the floor, he handcuffed me. I don't remember too much about it." Security video from the building showed London beating Harvin after he was cuffed and on the ground, a source said.

"You are not supposed to beat a man once he is cuffed, but the video shows the [suspect] down on the ground, cuffed. They even stand him up in the corner and beat him with the [baton] some more," said a police source familiar with the security video. As London and his partner propped the handcuffed war vet up against a wall, London's cell phone rang, sources said. Video showed London talking on the phone for 90 seconds before he resumed beating Harvin, sources said. London told colleagues Harvin went berserk when he was asked to show identification or proof he was entitled to be in the building. Harvin started punching and kicking the cops, screaming, "You can't take me!" court papers say. "He is a big guy who fought being cuffed, kicking. He was not quiet, lying there like a lamb," one source said. London took the cell phone call only because it was an emergency, another source said, although he wouldn't elaborate. Harvin said he didn't remember much of what happened once the beating started. He was charged with assault and resisting arrest and was released pending a hearing. Harvin said he told the cop he served 3 1/2 years in the 101st Airborne Division, including six months in Iraq. "[London] said he was in the Navy. It didn't matter to him. He said I was a disgrace," Harvin said.

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