Craig 'Nehemiah' Wilson alleges police brutality
WASHINGTON (AP/ ABC 7) - "We're fired up. Can't take it anymore" was the rallying cry from protestors outside the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters Monday in response to a case of alleged police brutality against a New York City man.
Craig "Nehemiah" Wilson, a New York City public housing organizer, was in Washington for a conference of community activists and says D.C. police officers used excessive force after mistaking him for a homicide suspect.
Wilson, 42, says members of the fugitive task force demanded to see his ID, which he refused to produce without an explanation. He alleges that he was thrown to the ground and pepper-sprayed on Saturday while attending a National People's Action conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
A source familiar with the events tells ABC 7 Wilson was belligerent and refused to go to a more private setting to speak. Wilson was then handcuffed and taken away.
He says he was released and that police acknowledged their mistake. Demonstrators held a rally outside the police department Monday to support Wilson. The protestors them marched to the U.S. Attorneys Office.
"What happened to me shouldn't happen to anyone, anywhere," Wilson says. "They roughed me up. I suffered. I was in the precinct for like five hours, and it just shouldn't have happened."
Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump confirmed Monday that Wilson had been arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer by police looking for a man wanted in connection with a homicide.
Damaris Reyes, with the National People's Action, adds, "And now the police want to charge him with a crime. The crime is what they did. They committed by arresting this innocent man by profiling him."
Crump says the department will investigate allegations of excessive force.
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