Earlier in the pandemic, New York government officials implemented strict social distancing guidelines. The consequences of violating these orders included arrest.
On May 2 Officer Francisco Garcia was caught on tape threatening witness Donni Wright with a taser and punching him to the ground where he put his knee on Wright’s neck and back. The incident took place during the arrest of another man, Shekiem Brunson, for violating social distancing orders.
Following the arrest, Wright threatened to sue the city for $50 million. His mother, Donna, told the Daily News that Wright has not been able to work since the incident and still struggles with injuries he sustained that day in East Village.
Two days before an internal department trial was set to take place, Garcia submitted his resignation.
Wright expressed his disappointment in not being able to testify in the trial but is “glad [Garcia]’s not on the force to do that to nobody else. I could have lost my life but I didn’t,” he told reporters Wednesday (October 28).
Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said in a statement that Garcia’s resignation was a prime example of the dangers of using police officers to enforce “half-baked public policies,” later adding,”Is it any wonder that thousands of cops are heading out the door before the same thing happens to them?”
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office officially declined to press charges against Donni Wright and Shekiem Brunson on May 18, though there is an ongoing investigation against Garcia.
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