A man who bit off and swallowed a piece of a cop’s finger during a beatdown at a Brooklyn police stationhouse — but was ultimately acquitted at trial — is suing the NYPD for $10 million, the Daily News has learned.
Attorneys for Ainsley Johnson filed their notice of claim with the city controller’s office earlier this week, alleging that cops brutalized and falsely arrested the expectant father on April 6, 2018.
“(Officer Michael Hawk) forcibly threw (Johnson) onto the ground and began punching and kicking (him),” the notice of claim states. “This assault and brazen display of excessive force was caught on camera, which video was revealed during (his) criminal trial.”
After viewing the video of a group of cops pounding on Johnson, a jury acquitted him of all criminal charges on Nov. 26. They also determined there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Johnson of damaging a car, which led to his initial arrest in the first place.
He was released from jail just in time to meet his fiancée Christine at Maimonides Medical Center with his new son Casey, who was born as the trial ended.
Since a judge ordered him held on $150,000 bail, Johnson “was released after having suffered through 234 consecutive days of incarceration,” the notice of claim, filed in state Supreme court, states.
Cops in Canarsie arrested Johnson on April 6 after he allegedly broke the windows of a 2003 BMW on Rockaway Parkway. When he was brought to the precinct to be charged with criminal mischief, police said he fought with a cop who was trying to re-cuff him.
As the two fought on the floor, Johnson chomped down on Officer Hawk’s left hand, snapping off the tip of the finger at the cuticle.
He swallowed the fingertip during the fight, cops said.
Police charged him with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, but a surveillance video of the incident from inside the precinct told an entirely different story, his criminal attorney Michael Biniakewitz said.
“It’s as clear as day that (Johnson) was not resisting and cooperative when the officer threw him to the ground,” said Biniakewitz who filed the notice of claim with the law firm David J. Hernandez & Associates. “When he was on the floor, his hands were underneath him, but, with four cops sitting on him, prosecutors wanted the jury to believe my client was able to purposely move his face to the officer’s hand to bite him.”
“(We) are confident that a jury will find that the police violated Mr. Johnson’s civil rights in a myriad of ways, least of which was beating him like a piece of meat,” he said.