The elderly Upper West Side resident who was knocked to the ground by police after jaywalking is filing a $5 million lawsuit against the New York Police Department.
In the complaint released by his lawyer, 84-year-old Kang Chun Wong claims he was lawfully crossing the 96th Street and Broadway intersection on Jan. 19 when police officers approached and harassed him for no reason.
“It was excessive how they [the police] did it to me. If I did something wrong, I could understand, but I didn’t,” Wong said in a New York Daily News interview published Monday.
A photo published by the Daily News from the day of the incident shows Wong, his head bloodied after being knocked to the ground, being led away in handcuffs by police.
Wong’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, filed a notice of claim to the Office of Comptroller of New York City on Monday morning, accusing the police department of assault, battery, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and violation of civil rights.
Wong’s arrest was part of a crackdown on jaywalkers prompted by a recent spate of pedestrian deaths near the 96th Street and Broadway intersection. Local politicians and residents, however, denounced the strategy of ticketing jaywalkers almost immediately after Wong’s arrest.
“Violating the civil rights of our citizens is no way to ensure pedestrian safety,” Rubenstein said Tuesday.
He said the NYPD may seek a settlement before the issue ever makes it to court but added that the trial is “on a fast track to getting a jury.”
NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.