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NYE fight downtown - Dara Silberstein representing accuser

2pelo Honey

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Story on PSB today...I expected to see Ronald Benjamin's name, and then see this one. I can't stomach the thought of having to see her on the news. Gag. I imagine they're claiming his facial bruises didn't stem from the fight he was in. The whole band of misfits tried to stir shit up a few summers ago downtown...her and Massey, etc. 

A Binghamton resident has pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest stemming from a New Year’s incident in which a Binghamton police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck.

More than 50 people packed the gallery of Binghamton City Court on Wednesday morning in support of 24-year-old Hamail Waddell, who is Black and Asian. Waddell’s right hand was heavily bandaged and his left eye still visibly bruised and swollen from the injuries he sustained during his arrest in the early hours of Jan. 1.

Multiple bystander videos show Waddell, who was facedown in handcuffs on the sidewalk at Hawley and Collier streets, shouting, “I can’t breathe!” as bystanders pleaded with Officer Brad Kaczynski to remove his knee from Waddell’s neck — a scene that local advocates have described as similar to the events leading to the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

The City of Binghamton has not responded to requests filed under New York’s Freedom of Information Act to obtain body camera footage of the incident.

In the weeks since Waddell’s arrest, advocates have called for Kaczynski’s arrest, marched to police headquarters and shut down a city council meeting. There, his sister spoke emotionally of her brother’s arrest.

“Imagine you’ve just had your face brutally dragged along the concrete. Now you’re lying on your stomach with your hands tied behind your back, and suddenly a man who towers over you like the Jolly Green Giant shoves his knee into your neck and back. While he hangs out there just carelessly resting his body weight on your neck for what feels like hours, you’re anything but careless.”

In a signed deposition obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin / pressconnects, Kaczynski claims he attempted to arrest Waddell for disorderly conduct “after he engaged in a large, mutually combative fight” near the Collier Street parking lot.

“I advised said defendant that he was under arrest and attempted to handcuff him when he intentionally pulled away from myself and other uniformed Police Officers,” Kaczynski wrote. “I ordered said defendant to put his hands behind his back and to stop pulling away and he refused to comply with my commands.”

Local advocates have disputed the claim that Waddell was engaged in a fight of any sort at the time of his arrest, claiming instead he was the victim of an assault by a group of college-aged men.

Two other individuals were also arrested in connection with the incident, though their names were not released.

The Binghamton Police Department announced Jan. 6 that Kaczynski would be placed on administrative duty while the department investigates.

Describing Waddell’s handling by BPD as “horrific,” his attorney, Dara Silberstein, contended that the restraints employed against her client constituted a violation of the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Law.

“It is our hope that the Binghamton Police Department will take the appropriate measures to respond to violations of this law and not use my client as some kind of scapegoat to justify what seem to be illegal actions of their officer(s),” she said in an email to the Press & Sun-Bulletin / pressconnects.

Several dozen community organizers shut down the first Binghamton City Council meeting of the year last week, calling for Kaczynski’s immediate firing and arrest under the anti-chokehold law, which establishes grounds for felony charges for police officers who engage in “violent strangulation,” or “criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.”

“My brother is a light,” Waddell’s younger sister, Ahmoni, told city council members last week, going on to describe Hamail as a “bright, sensitive, strong-willed, intelligent, passionate and protective person.”

“I know that there are people out there that have or will create their own narratives of him and our family to excuse this injustice that has been forced upon him,” she continued. “But no matter which way you try to spin it, Brad Kaczynski of BPD was malicious and incredibly inconsiderate of human life.

“The very least we each deserve in this life is humanity. My brother deserved at least that, and that’s exactly what he was deprived of that night.”

[Watch the video at the top of this story]

The Broome County District Attorney’s Office has not responded to requests for comment on the case.

The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James confirmed it is aware of the incident, but its Office of Special Investigation is only authorized to investigate instances of police use of force that result in the death of a civilian or detainee.


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I guess the body cam footage will show everything. From what I saw on the video posted, the kid effortlessly picked up his head and turned it to the other cheek. You could see his neck. It wasn't encumbered at that point.

I also see he's missing a shoe. If you scuffle with the police enough to lose a shoe...again, let's see how THAT happened.

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She, Tish,  actually has gotten involved in a few cases in Rochester. In fact she tried to cover one up. I think the case, if I'm not mistaken,involved a psychotic black man, may have been from drugs, running around the streets naked in the middle of winter. It was during the height of covid. The man was apprehended but was spitting on the officers so they placed some kind of restraint on his head..like a mesh type hood and somehow the man died. She tried to keep the details from the family who were the ones who called the police for help in the first place. Eventually they filed a freedom of information request. She took a bit of heat from her behavior but obviously all was forgotten since she's been reelected. 

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