Nassau Community College student Nicholson Gregoire tells the New York Daily News that Queens police officers wrongfully arrested and beat him earlier this month after they saw him walking his dog without a leash. Following the incident, cops charged Gregoire with assaulting an officer, strangulation, resisting arrest.
The trouble began around 5:00 p.m. on December 15, when Gregoire took his dog for a walk without a leash outside his Queens village home. Two police officers stopped him and asked him for ID, and Gregoire went back to his house to get it. At some point, the officers entered the home and attempted to arrest Gregoire. Some of the arrest was caught on film, which you can see here. The video shows the officers struggling with Gregoire for several minutes. Eventually, they were joined by many more officers. One of them punched Gregoire in the face multiple times, and mace was also used.
“I’ve been watching the video over and over,” Gregoire tells the Daily News. “I didn’t use any foul language. I don’t think I should have been arrested in my home for walking my dog. I was scared for my life. They have the guns.” He says he injured his shoulder during the arrest.
In the criminal complaint against him, it says that Gregoire put one of the officers in a chokehold during the incident. Though in the video it looks like he did, Gregoire tells the Daily News, “I don’t recall putting the officer in a chokehold.”
Gregoire’s attorney Mark Crawford maintains that police “had no basis to enter” Gregoire’s home. “The police showed no respect for the law, almost like mob mentality. If they were not police officers this would have been a gang assault,” he said. If convicted, Gregoire could face up to seven years in prison.