Advocates to hold rally in support of disabled man tased on Centro bus

Organizer Sally Johnston speaks with CNY Central's Jim Kenyon

Disabled and civil rights advocates plan to rally Wednesday in support of a disabled man who claims Syracuse Police used excessive force because he simply refused to sit down on a Centro bus.

Organizer Sally Johnston says the rally will take place at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Syracuse Police Headquarters at 511 South State Street.

Johnston says members of "United As One" will call for an investigation into the actions of two police officers who twice used a taser on Brad Hulett and dragged him off the bus on May 3rd. Hulett also suffered a broken hip during the incident, which was caught on the surveillance camera on-board the bus.

Johnston says the video of the incident made her "sick to my stomach." She said the officers "assaulted" Hulett, who suffers from brain and physical disabilities due to a train accident when he was 12-years-old.

The video shows Hulett refusing the bus driver's request to sit down (watch the video). He told CNY Centralâ??s Jim Kenyon that because of his disabilities, he finds it more comfortable to stand. Hulett also said he has a right to stand on the bus which has accommodations for standing passengers. Johnston says the Centro driver "needs to be retrained."

The driver summoned two police officers who ordered Hulett off the bus. During the incident, the officers tased Hulett twice, dragged him off the bus and at one point the police are seen dragging Hulett by one leg. Hulett says that's when he suffered a broken hip.

Johnston is calling upon the Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler to take disciplinary action against the officers. She also wants District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick to drop charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct against Hulett. She is also calling upon Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner to intervene and review the department's policy on the use of tasers.

Because Hulett has filed a notice of claim against the City, neither the Mayor's office nor the Police Department will comment.

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