Family of BK man to file police brutality suit

BROOKLYN - Family members of a mentally ill Brooklyn man are filing a lawsuit against the NYPD for allegedly beating him beyond recognition Saturday.

The relatives of Gamalier Reyes, 26, gathered outside the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick Tuesday, accusing six police officers of hitting the mentally unstable man, and leaving his face swollen and bruised.

One of Reyes' sisters, Zully De La Cruz, says her family called 911 early Saturday morning and asked for EMT assistance for her brother, who seemed disturbed. Police officers who arrived at the scene showed no consideration for his condition, she says, and six of them physically abused him.

Police officials, however, claim Reyes displayed violent behavior and punched officers. They also say Reyes got into a fight while in the Dominican Republic, which is where he received some of the bruises. Reyes' family denies those allegations.

"He was not injured, and all his bruises and all his broken bones...the police department did it to him," De La Cruz says.

Reyes' first reconstructive surgery is scheduled for next week. In the meantime, police are conducting their own investigation into the allegations of police brutality.

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