Darnell Dekker is a great young man with a brother who’s not quite as good. He heard his brother had stolen a phone from someone he know. Darnell lives with his grandparents in a private house in Far Rockaway, Queens. Darnell was on the sidewalk we the girl who was purportedly the victim came to the house. He explained that his brother wasn’t home, but that he would find out what was going on as soon as he got home. Moments later, four cops roll up. They ask if they know where his brother is. Darnell says no, he’s not home. Not satisfied, the cops proceed to walk onto the Dekkers’ property towards the front door.
Darnell’s concerned, secondly, because the police have no search warrant, no arrest warrant, and no legal authority to go in the house. Firstly, he’s concerned that his dog is going to bark aggressively at the cops and the cops are going to shoot the dog. He runs in the house ahead of him and gets a hold of the dog, who is already agitated, sensing that something bad is happening. The screen door closes behind Darnell. Believing that his authority has been challenged, Sergeant Donnie Schneider, Shield #2141, grabs him by the neck, rips his chain from his neck, and forces him into the house.
when Darnell’s grandparents arise, another officer takes him into a different room to discuss what happened. Moments later, Sergeant Donnie Schneider takes Darnell into a separate room and shows him what police brutality is all about. Sergeant Schneider thrashes him and sprays mace at him. Without provocation. Sergeant Schneider explained that he was angry that he closed the door on him and his fellow officers.
Darnell suffered a laceration to the head, requiring staples to pull his skin back together. He had cuts and bruises about his body. He’s arrested for Obstruction of Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest. He spent 48 hours in police custody. A judge threw out the ridiculous charges.
In addition to Sgt. Schneider, Police Officers Nicholas Ventimiglia, Joseph Spano, Matthew Klein and Sunila Seepersad all participated — or refused to stop their fellow officers — from violating Darnell’s rights. In the name of public safety, none of the officers tried to stop Sgt. Schneider from committing the crime of assault on an innocent victim.
As of this writing, Sgt. Schneider has not been criminally charged, and as far as we know, he has not been disciplined for his illegal actions.
Darnell bares the scars, physical and mental, of being a victim of police brutality, but our civil rights law firm at least got him some compensation for the officers brutality and flagrant disregard for the Constitution.