Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk police said Friday that there was no merit to a woman’s complaint that she was assaulted by police when she attempted to help a gunshot victim at a Dix Hills party.
“The fact is that the evidence gathered in this investigation reveals that the allegation that officers physically assaulted this individual for no reason is false,” said Bellone, speaking at a news conference at Suffolk government headquarters in Hauppauge. “The evidence, in fact, indicated these officers acted in the best interests of this victim.”
Cindy O’Pharrow had said she planned to sue the department, claiming she was injured when an officer yanked her to get her out of the ambulance that was preparing to transport the wounded man. She said at a press conference with her attorney, Frederick Brewington, that she was a friend of the mother of the shot man and had promised her that she would watch over him. The man was shot outside a graduation party at a home on June 27 outside the home at 147 Seaman Neck Road.
“It was urgent that this young person get to the hospital, she was told to get out, she’s indicated that she’s not going to get out,” acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said. “Further attempts to deescalate the situation will delay getting this person to the hospital, so officers chose instead to pick her up and put her on the ground.”
O’Pharrow, whose husband is an NYPD detective, runs the nonprofit Cops N’ Kids Long Island, dedicated to improving relations between law enforcement and young people.
Suffolk police released a dashcam video of the encounter between O’Pharrow and police officers.