Police brutality accusations polarize Yonkers residents

Police brutality accusations are polarizing Yonkers residents. While some say it's a problem, others say they're unaware of any conflict.

A U.S. Department of Justice probe of the Yonkers Police Department and amateur video of an arrest have renewed the debate. The video, shot Friday, shows officers surrounding 27-year-old Eric Brown on the ground.

Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Hartnett defended the arrest, saying the problem started after Brown was issued a summons for failing to curb his dog. Brown's wife, Monique Vasquez, was also arrested in the incident.

The Browns argue police used excessive force to handle a situation that didn't warrant it.

"They do whatever they want to do because they know we can't do nothing about it," said a resident who agrees.

On the predominately white east side of Yonkers, residents had a different opinion. "They may have a valid complaint, but I've never experienced it," said Al Tacetta. "I've been here 30 years. I've never experienced any problems with the police."Hartnett said if the Browns decide to file a formal complaint, his department is prepared to conduct a thorough investigation.

Brown, who faces a charge of second-degree felony assault, remains in jail and is due back in court Tuesday. His wife was released on bail.

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