According to video obtained by the New York Daily News, a nearly naked Brooklyn woman was dragged from her apartment and handcuffed by 12 NYPD officers. The officers were reportedly responding to a domestic disturbance call from a different apartment in her building.
The New York Daily News reports that police demanded entry to 48-year-old Denise Stewart's apartment at 11:45 p.m. on July 13. Stewart cracked open the door wearing only a towel and told the officers that they had the wrong apartment, at which point they pulled her into the hallway and attempted to handcuff her. She lost her towel in the struggle, leaving her wearing only underwear.
Video footage of the chaos shows multiple officers holding the half naked Stewart against the wall, attempting to cuff her, while a crowd gathers around them. Stewart, who is reportedly asthmatic, can be heard saying "oxygen, get my oxygen," before she faints and falls to the floor. Members of the crowd can be heard shouting "Her asthma! Her asthma!"
The NYPD got a 911 call to the apartment building's address, but didn't have an apartment number—so when they heard shouting coming from Stewart's apartment, they knocked and attempted to enter. Once inside, they noticed that Stewart's 12-year-old daughter had "visible injuries" on her face and, when asked, the 12-year-old allegedly said her mother and older sister beat her with a belt.
The 12-year-old refused to be removed from the apartment, kicking the door of the police car and kicking out one of its windows, the broken glass from which injured one of the cops, according to the NYPD.
Stewart, who allegedly bit an officer's finger during the struggle, was left nearly naked in the hallway for approximately two minutes and 20 seconds. After cops entered her apartment and arrested Stewart's two sons and two daughters, a female cop draped a towel over her exposed body.
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, and she and her 20-year-old daughter Diamond Stewart were charged with resisting arrest, criminal possession of a weapon, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Stewart's 24-year-old son Kirkland Stewart was also charged with resisting arrest, and her 12-year-old daughter was charged with assaulting a police officer, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a weapon.
The Daily News reports that a police spokesperson said the incident is under investigation by Internal Affairs.