An NYPD officer has been accused of stealing $1,300 before pepper spraying at least two people in an incident caught on video.
The New York Daily News obtained the exclusive video, which appears to show a cop stealing cash from a man undergoing a stop-and-frisk procedure.
The incident began after authorities were seen allegedly harassing a man named Terrel Haskins. Lamard Joye, 35, said he asked if it was necessary for the NYPD to behave that way when they apparently turned their attention to him.
"Do you see this?" Joye asks on video as an unidentified officer pushes him against a fence.
The cop appears to pocket a wad of cash, prompting Joye to say, "Give me my money."
"He just stole his money," a man says off camera.
Joye told the Daily News that the officer stole $1,300 from him. Within seconds of Joye asking for his money back, the officer appears to pepper spray him in the face.
When Joye's sister, Lateefah, asks the officer to identify himself by giving his badge number, he appears to pepper spray her as well.
An attorney for the family, Robert Marinelli, told the publication it was one of the most disturbing things he had ever seen.
“I believe that this officer made an assumption that any money Mr. Joye possessed was obtained illegally and therefore he would not report the theft. This assumption was wrong," Marinelli said. "Mr. Joye is a hardworking taxpayer deserving respect."
The lawyer told the New York Post that his client had $1,300 on him so he could treat he and his wife to a night on the town in celebration of his 35th birthday.
“The cops thought they could just go in his pockets, take his money, mace him and leave,” Marinelli said. “If there wasn’t a video, nobody would believe this happened.”
According to CBS News, Marinelli is also representing Haskins. An NYPD spokesman told the publication officers had initially responded to reports of a man with a gun, and are investigating the allegations against the officer seen taking the money.
Marinelli said he also turned the video over to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, and also provided DA Ken Thompson with bank slips and pay stubs to prove Joye obtained the money legally.
Joye's money has not yet been returned.
UPDATE 10-10-2014: NYPD officials said on Thursday that Joye was only carrying $62, according to the New York Post. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch stated that the officer behaved appropriately, saying, "this was someone who fit the description of a man with a gun and all his property including money and cellphone were vouchered."