Campbell was hosting a gay pride party, with some 80 guests in attendance, at his apartment in Crown Heights Sunday. Around 3 a.m., two officers arrived at his door, asking him to turn down his music. Campbell said he complied with their request and told friends of his who were gathered outside to either go home or come back upstairs with him to the party.
About five minutes later, Campbell noticed on his video surveillance monitor, which he had installed to deter thieves, that the two officers had been joined by another group of cops. After one officer pointed to the camera, a sergeant reached up and diverted it away from the stoop. Campbell went down to investigate and that’s when, he claims, the boys in blue beat him black and blue.
“I got bum rushed, restrained on both of my arms, and all of these cops are screaming and cursing at me and calling me all of these names like homo, gay, fag and things like that,” Campbell told ABC News. As they beat him, Campbell says the cops kept telling him to “stop resisting,” though he maintains he did not put up a struggle.
Dante Singleton, 21, Campbell’s roommate, said that he saw several officers pinning Campbell to the wall and “whaling on him.” Campbell was treated at Kings County Hospital while in custody and said that he suffered a mild concussion and bruises.
“I blacked out,” he told the New York Daily News. “I was concerned for my life.”
Campbell was arrested with charges of attempted assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana and Ecstasy. His arresting officers said Campbell had the contraband in his pockets, though he denies having any drugs.
Campbell’s attorney, Herbert S. Subin, said he believes Campbell’s arrest was “a coordinated effort by the 77th precinct,” and that his client was the victim of a hate crime. At a press conference Thursday, Subin said Campbell was “targeted” for hosting a gay party “whose guests included transsexuals and transvestites,” according to The New York Times. Subin also contends that the presence of police officers in Campbell’s home following the incident was the result of “homophobic concerns and not for any legitimate police purposes.”
Campbell filed a notice of claim on Wednesday against the city, the NYPD and nine unnamed officers, while Subin said he would file suit on Campbell’s behalf. NYPD chief spokesman Paul J. Browne said that the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau was investigating Campbell’s claims.