Recorded on video assaulting an unarmed teenager for no justifiable reason, a New York police officer was named in a lawsuit filed on Friday by the mother of the 16-year-old victim. According to the video, the teen was walking away from the officer when the cop suddenly attacked him without physical provocation.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on May 25, Yahmiek Maddox, 16, was approached by Rochester police officers for allegedly carrying an open container of alcohol and was placed in handcuffs. But according to a nearby surveillance video, Officer Phillip Perelli uncuffed Yahmiek’s wrists, released the teen without any charges, and allowed him to walk away.
As Yahmiek gathered his possessions and began to leave, the teen called Perelli a name according to the recent lawsuit. Without any physical provocation from the teen, Perelli immediately slapped Yahmiek before grabbing his neck and throwing him to the ground.
Two officers held the teen down, while Perelli repeatedly punched him on camera. The lawsuit states that Perelli handcuffed Yahmiek a second time and placed him in the back of a patrol car before spraying mace on him and leaving him with the windows and doors closed “intentionally in order to torture Mr. Maddox.”
The lawsuit filed by Yahmiek’s mother, Lucrecia Maddox, added, “Ironically, even though Defendant Perelli was the clear aggressor, Mr. Maddox was the one charged with Harassment in the Second Degree. Mr. Maddox was also charged with Resisting Arrest and a violation of the Alcohol Beverage and Container Law. The officers’ arrest of Mr. Maddox on these charges was malicious and without justification or without cause.”
When Yahmiek appeared in court to face the charges against him, the Monroe County District Attorney’s office withdrew and dismissed the charges. On Friday, Lucrecia Maddox filed the lawsuit against the city of Rochester and Officer Perelli for assaulting her son without any legal justification along with false arrest and false charges.
“I don’t even discipline my kids that way. I had him, that’s my child, and I just feel like he was totally violated,” Lucrecia Maddox said during a press conference on Friday. “It’s ridiculous for the police to think they have the right to do that to human beings, period, not even my child.”
In a statement, the City of Rochester said, “Because this is now pending litigation and, in such matters, we are obligated to protect the interest of city taxpayers, we cannot offer additional details or comment at this time.”