A Brooklyn woman who had just gotten out of the shower was dragged from her apartment by about a dozen NYPD officers in a chaotic scene in mid-July, and the entire incident was caught on tape. The officers, who were responding to a domestic disturbance call in her building, then stood by while the woman sat topless and exposed in the hallway, according to video that emerged Friday.
The officers were reportedly responding to a domestic disturbance call from a different apartment in her building, which led them to Denise Stewart’s door on July 13. According to reports, NYPD got a 911 call to the apartment building’s address, but didn’t have an apartment number for where the alleged incident was taking place.
Upon entering the building, they heard shouting from Stewart’s apartment, and proceeded to knock. Stewart, 48, peeked out of the door, but was wearing only a towel, which she had wrapped around her body and underpants. As she cracked the door open, Stewart was dragged into the hallway by the NYPD officers.
On the video, which was obtained by New York Daily News, the scuffle that ensues can be seen as family and bystanders are heard screaming protests of, “Are you serious? That’s a female!” as the officers act, but they’re not deterred by the cries.
Several of the officers struggle to subdue Stewart, who is nearly naked and struggling against their efforts.
Stewart loses her towel at one point, and she is left wearing only underwear as the officers cuff her in the hallway outside of her apartment.
“Oxygen, get my oxygen,” the mother of four cries, as NYPD props her up, topless, against the wall.
It is then that neighbors, who were videotaping from the stairwell nearby, started shouting as Stewart, who suffers severe asthma, faints and falls to the floor. Members of the crowd can be heard shouting “Her asthma! Her asthma!”
According to police, the NYPD officers noticed that Stewart’s 12-year-old daughter had “visible injuries” on her face, and the child allegedly said her mother and older sister “beat her with a belt.”
The 12-year-old refused to be removed from the apartment, and proceeded to kick the door and the window of the police car, breaking the glass during the incident. One officer was injured during the struggle, according to the NYPD.
The family reports that Stewart’s 4-year-old grandson was pepper sprayed during the struggle.
Stewart’s lawyer told to the New York Daily News that police entered Stewart’s apartment by mistake:
“Stewart’s lawyer, Amy Rameau, said she was told by a Legal Aid attorney also assigned to the case that the 911 call came from a different apartment on an upper floor — and cops went to Stewart’s door by mistake.
Rameau told the Daily News that the Administration for Children’s Services was called to investigate, but found no evidence of neglect.”
Denise Stewart was charged with assaulting a police officer. She, along with her 20-year-old daughter Diamond Stewart, also faces charges of resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
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