A woman who says she was physically abused by Suffolk County police officers at the site of a shooting in Dix Hills said Wednesday that she plans to sue the department.
Cindy O’Pharrow, who runs the West Babylon-based nonprofit Cops ‘N Kids, said she was dragged out of an ambulance when she attempted to care for a young man who had been shot outside a graduation party on June 27.
O’Pharrow said, “The way I was treated, physically and verbally abused by Suffolk officers and a Suffolk lieutenant, demonstrated to me that there’s an urgent need to change the culture in Suffolk, which has allowed police to treat members of the community anyway they want with no regard for professionalism or respect.”
She spoke at a press conference called by civil rights attorney Frederick Frederick K. Brewington, who has filed the notice of intent to file a lawsuit.
Updated.Legal paperwork gave this version o what happened
“Claimant stood directly behind the stretcher until the young man was loaded into the back of the ambulance. An officer asked claimant what she was doing. Once the young man was loaded into the ambulance, claimant stepped into the ambulance simultaneously stating that she was going with the young man and sat down on the bench inside the ambulance. The same male officer then stepped forward and rudely yells “get the hell out of the ambulance” Claimant then asks why. This same officer then yells again at the claimant to get out of the ambulance and claimant it again asks why. The officer then states because there is no room. claimant then responds, “how is there no room as I’m sitting here and everyone has room.” The officer then steps up into the rear of the ambulance and yells., “did you hear what the hell I told you? Get the hell out” and then grabbed her by the arm.
The shooting occurred shortly after midnight on June 27 outside the home at 147 Seaman Neck Road.
Her husband, Kwani B. O’Pharrow, is an NYPD detective.
The nonprofit works to pair police officers and kids in a mentoring relationship.