Photo: Amadi Ajamu
By Paul Schrodt and Erin Thompson
After being assaulted by police officers while attempting to prevent the beating of a young man in police custody, prominent human rights attorney and longtime crusader against police brutality, Michael Tarif Warren, now faces criminal charges.
Both Warren and his wife, Evelyn, are scheduled to appear in Brooklyn Criminal Court on July 25. He is accused of disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest while she faces one count of disorderly conduct.
The incident, which occurred June 21 at 600 Vanderbilt Ave., began when the Warrens say they witnessed police officers chase down a teen and throw him to the ground. Police officers began beating the handcuffed young man, “kicking him in the head and ribs, and stomping him on the neck,” said Michael Warren in a report published on nyc.indymedia.org.
When Warren, who has exposed numerous incidents of police misconduct through his work on prominent cases such as the Central Park Jogger case, questioned the officers’ actions, he was told to return to his car.
While taking down the police vehicle’s license plate number in his car, Warren was assaulted by Sgt. James Talvy, the supervising officer on the scene. Talvy reportedly punched Warren through the window of his car and dragged him onto the street.
When Evelyn Warren asked “why are you doing that?” Talvy reportedly punched her in the jaw and arrested both Warrens.
The Warrens didn’t sit in jail long. By midnight a cheering crowd of protesters gathered at the 77th Precinct to welcome their release. Police officials refused to comment on the accusations against Talvy except to say the complaint has been referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
At a rally on the day after Warren’s arrest, Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron spoke in support of Warren, saying the charges should be dropped and instead “we want Talvy to immediately be removed and put under investigation.”