It was reported that an undercover police detective came forward in the NYC motorcycle road rage beating as a witness to the incident. The police officer waited days before stepping forward; he said he was afraid of blowing his cover. Two other off-duty officers were said to have ridden with the motorcycle gang and have been placed on desk duty pending investigations.
“On Wednesday of last week the undercover detective comes forward and said, “I was there, I saw the beating, I didn’t want to break my cover.” John Miller, former New York City Deputy Police Commissioner, said “He’s assigned to the intelligence division and some of the people there are under deep cover and they’re training is, even under pressure, you don’t admit who you really are.”
Miller believed the officer should have immediately come forward with the information instead of waiting to make his admission. Detectives are trained, when under cover, to stay in character but as a reasonable person he was obligated to report criminal behavior. Miller’s statement brings into question the credibility of the detective regarding his story.
The media exposure around the incident has sparked a widespread debate as to the actions of the police involved in the incident. The public outcry has demanded officials take a hard look at officers’ off duty activities and associations. Video and bystander statements have led many to believe the police involved were nefarious in regards to their handling of the incident.
One of the NYC police officers has stated he witnessed the incident when the guy on the motorcycle was run over by the SUV and the initial beating started. He said he was not involved in the entire incident and didn’t know all the details of what occurred. Witnesses said the door of the Range Rover was pulled open and police have identified 35-year-old Robert Sims as the culprit. Police have also arrested 37-year-old Reginald Chance who slammed his helmet against the outside of the vehicle.
“If you look at the video, you will see my client immediately after smashing the vehicle window, returning to his bicycle. And there are still photographs in the possession of the district attorney that will show you that he’s not physically present,” said Gregory Watts, Chance’s lawyer.
Both men were charged with gang assault along with a list of felonies. Sims was said to have stomped on the driver’s head. Another attacker reportedly tried to yank the driver’s wife from the vehicle before being reproached by on-lookers. One witness stated, “I heard a lot of people screaming, telling the man – ‘No not the woman! There’s a child! There’s a child! Not with the Child!”
Police will likely utilize video to identify witnesses in the NYC motorcycle beating and arrests will occur until all have been held accountable. Observers have been critical of the involved police officers and have suggested department policies to determine who they should be able to associate with on their off time.
By Thomas Barr