The disabled man who claims he was roughed up by Syracuse Police for refusing to sit down on a Centro bus is speaking out to CNY Central about his ordeal.
Brad Hulett says he suffered a broken hip during the May 3rd incident in which police used a Taser on him twice. Hulett told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that he needed to stand because sitting down on a moving bus is uncomfortable given his disabilities. Hulett says the bus allows passengers to stand and has set up rails to accommodate them.
Surveillance video of the incident, which is included in this article, shows Hulett refusing the bus driver's order to sit down. Two Syracuse Police officers then enter the bus and order Hulett to leave. The video shows police using a Taser on Hulett twice and dragging him away from the bus by his leg.
Hulett suffered a broken hip during the incident. He was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Hulett told Kenyon that he feels his civil rights as a disabled person were violated and that he was harming no one.
Hulett's attorney, Rick Guy, has filed notices of claim against the City of Syracuse, Centro and Onondaga County. Guy says Hulett did not receive proper medical treatment at the Onondaga County Justice Center jail and was forced to suffer for 14 hours before he was taken to a hospital for treatment for his broken hip.
Guy says he is writing to the Onondaga County District Attorney's office asking that the charges against Hulett be dropped. He's also calling upon the D.A. to launch an investigation into the actions of the police officers.
Hulett says he hopes to receive compensation for his injuries. He also hopes the lawsuit will ensure that other disabled individuals are not treated in such a manner.
When reached for comment, Centro issued the following statement: "Centro does not comment on matters of pending litigation. Centro drivers are trained to constantly assess passenger safety and take action where they feel passenger safety may be a concern. This includes requesting passengers to sit when seats are available."
A spokesman for the Syracuse Police Department says it can not comment because of pending litigation. A spokesman for Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is also refusing to comment for the same reason.