The retired cop whose quick release from custody in Brooklyn has sparked two probes of the high-ranking NYPD chief who allegedly intervened says he’s being portrayed as a bad guy — but calls himself “the victim.”
Former NYPD officer Kruythoff Forrester was arrested late Nov. 24 for allegedly menacing three boys with a gun in Brownsville after their basketball hit his family’s storefront camera.
As THE CITY first reported, three-star NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, head of the department’s community affairs unit, voided the arrest within hours, according to sources.
Speaking out for the first time Wednesday before supporters of Maddrey rallied nearby, Forrester acknowledged to NBC New York that he had a licensed pistol in his waistband the night of the incident — but he insisted that he never pulled out or brandished the gun.
Sources, though, said the children accurately described Forrester’s firearm to police.
Forrester charged the same trio deliberately broke one of his family’s security cameras outside the building on the corner of Saratoga Ave and Pacific Street earlier in the day.
The former officer shared video footage with the TV station that showed part of the encounter. He is not seen holding a gun.
“I walked up the block. I was only going to say to the kids, ‘Can you do me a favor please? Just leave my camera alone,’” Forrester said.
Asked about the kids’ claims that they had seen a gun, Forrester said, “After I removed my hands from my pocket to put my hoodie over my head, once I put my hands back inside, I heard one of them yell out ‘I think that N-word might have a gun.’”
He told the TV station: “I’m being blamed. I’m the victim and I’m made out to look as the bad person — and that’s not right.”
‘No One Called’
Forrester worked for years at the Brownsville’s 73rd Precinct before retiring last year, and online records suggest his tenure overlapped with Maddrey’s time as the precinct’s commanding officer.
He declined to answer questions Wednesday when approached by a reporter from THE CITY.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board and the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau have been investigating the incident, according to sources and to the boys’ families. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is keeping tabs on the police investigation, a spokesperson said.
NBC New York reported that the IAB probe has been closed, but the NYPD press office didn’t immediately respond when asked for confirmation.
The aunt and mom of two of the boys, ages 12 and 14, said the brothers were never interviewed by IAB investigators.
The mom had blocked an attempted interview with the boys when IAB representatives arrived unannounced last week because she wasn’t with them at the time.
“We’re going to call IAB in the morning to see what’s going on,” said the aunt, Lashawn Jordan. “No one called to make an appointment to see us or talk to the boys.”
The boys and their families maintain that Forrester pursued the boys halfway down the block after their basketball accidentally bumped into the camera.
A video obtained by THE CITY shows one of the three shouting to the others mid-block, “Run! He has a gun!”
The brothers say they ran back toward the storefront and rounded the corner, where they split up from their friend.
They said Forrester continued chasing the two of them a full block, around another corner, and halfway down Dean Street.
The incident left all three youths “terrified,” according to their families.
The mom of the 12- and 14-year-old says she’s frustrated at the outcome of the case thus far, particularly since she contended — and sources confirmed — the boys accurately described what Forrester’s gun looks like to police.
“How can they tell you exactly what that gun looks like unless you pulled it out?” she told THE CITY on Wednesday. “How can they tell you what exactly It looks like, you understand?”
Jordan said the video Forrester claims proves he didn’t brandish a gun captured just the very beginning and end of the lengthy encounter.
“We can’t see nothing from the side where he chased them boys,” she said. “We can’t see none of that.”
Rally for Maddrey
Forrester spoke out just before a handful of Brooklyn clergymen affiliated with the organization African American Clergy & Elected Officials gathered in support of Maddrey.
The group’s president, The Reverend Dr. Robert Waterman, joined seven other members and a handful of NYPD officers to quickly march from the blustery corner of Dean Street and Saratoga Avenue toward Forrester’s family real estate business.
While many of the clergy present said that they weren’t privy to any additional details of the incident beyond what has been publicly reported, many told THE CITY that they felt the need to come together and support the chief.
“For who he is, what he has done,” explained Waterman, who said that Maddrey had been a long-time member of AACEO. “And you can only speak about what people have done in the community. And so that’s what I’m speaking about. That’s why I’m here.”
State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries are co-vice presidents of the organization, according to a flyer advertising the event. But no elected officials attended the small rally.
Meanwhile, Waterman asked the public to wait for the investigations into Maddrey’s conduct to run their course — with the hope that the scrutiny would not affect the veteran cop’s potential upward mobility in an Adams administration.
“It’s not for us to actually dictate what’s true, what is not the truth,” Waterman told THE CITY. “But as a supportive body, it’s up to us to support the body until there is whatever we call the verdict.”
This article was originally posted on Ex-Cop Released By NYPD Chief After Gun Arrest Says He’s the Victim — Not ‘Terrified’ Boys
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