excerpt from the letter his office released today regarding the details of what’s happened:
“I replied to the NYPD officer’s demand with a simple question: ‘Why? Am I under arrest?’ The question was based on the fact that (1) the officer had already grabbed me and spun me around, impeding my entry into my office; and (2) the NYPD officers stationed outside the building, to my knowledge, have never previously requested identification from any individual. The decision to check identification and to grant access to the elevators is made by the building personnel in the lobby, not the NYPD.
“As soon as I asked the NYPD officer why I was being asked to produce identification, and whether I was under arrest, he said ‘You are now!’
“The NYPD officer, whose surname is Parker, and whose badge number is 21289, then produced his handcuffs and demanded that I place my hands behind my back. Aware of my rights under the relevant sections of the Vienna Convention, and aware of the fact that I had committed no criminal offence, I informed Officer Parker that I would not place my hands behind my back. Officer Parker proceeded to place his handcuff on my left wrist. I clasped my hands in front of me and stood perfectly still and rigid, as if at attention.
“Officer Parker then began to squeeze the handcuff tightly on my left wrist, in an attempt to yank my hands behind my back. He was unsuccessful in this effort. Officer Parker called for backup, and another one or two NYPD officers arrived in the lobby and began to manhandle me in an effort to handcuff me. I remained uncooperative, but peaceful. At some point I was struck or somehow bruised behind my right ear. There are minor abrasions in this area.
“The officers, collectively, managed to force my hands behind my back and to handcuff me. I was pulled to the side of the lobby, where Officer Parker informed me that he was getting a Squad Car to take me to the ’17th Precinct.’
…“Other officers on the scene began questioning me about what took place, and also asked me whether I worked in the building and in what capacity. I responded to them calmly and truthfully, despite the fact that I was under arrest and being questioned without having been informed of my ‘Miranda Rights’ as mandated by U.S. Law. Similarly, I had not been informed of the supposed ‘crime’ for which I was under arrest.
…“Officer Parker said quietly to his fellow officers, but within my earshot: ‘I couldn’t let him just walk into the building. Look at him: he could be a terrorist.’
…“The U.S. State Department Personnel later joined me in my office to express their personal regret that the incident had taken place. They also said that the NYPD was considering issuing me a summons for disorderly conduct, which would require me to pay a fine. I informed them that I considered myself the victim of a police assault, and may pursue my own redress to that assault. Shortly thereafter, the State Department Personnel informed me that the NYPD had decided not to issue any summons.
“Later that day, I was contacted by the U.S. State Department and reminded that, if I decide to pursue legal action for my assault, I would be waiving whatever jurisdictional immunities I possess as a diplomatic agent. I was informed that, if I contemplated legal action, I may become subject to a counter suit by the New York District Attorney.