In August 2016, an undercover NYPD officer tackled Bobby Lopez for reportedly resisting arrest. The incident was recorded on a nearby camera in Chelsea’s Robert S. Fulton Houses in New York City.
According to ABC News, Narcotics Division officers sought to apprehend Lopez on charges of selling marijuana. They also cited that the then 18-year-old resisted arrest, attempting to justify the excessive force. Once the footage and evidence surfaced, NYPD dropped the charges against Lopez. Now, the 19-year-old is filing a lawsuit (Feb. 15), against the organization for reportedly fracturing his skull.
“They had nothing on me,” he said. “When they injured me all I had was my wallet and my cellphone.” Following the physical contact — which led to a surgical procedure — part of the teen’s skull was removed.
Lopez states that he was outside his apartment building while his brother, Jason Perez, was walking their dog. Officers assert that they witnessed Lopez handing ziplock bags of marijuana to Perez, Gothamist reports.
“When you look at the video and you see the aggressiveness, it was unnecessary. My client opened the door for them. They pushed him with such force for no reason,” Lopez’s lawyer, Ugochukwu Uzoh, said. “It’s not like he was running, or attacking them. They could have approached him if he did anything wrong, and he would have talked to them. And he did absolutely nothing wrong.”
The three officers on the scene are still on active duty. According to the New York Daily News, a NYPD spokesperson said Lopez was in the act of running away when he was tackled. “One of the officers grabbed the suspect’s shirt as he tried to get away and the suspect fell down a stairway pulling the officer along with him.”
Uzoh states Lopez’s main source of monetary gains stem from Supplemental Security Income.