Mayor defends police use of force during arrests in a confrontation at a migrant shelter in Jamaica

Mayor Eric Adams spent part of his weekly briefing on Tuesday defending the NYPD saying the force they used to arrest a Venezuelan couple during a confrontation at a Jamaica migrant shelter was appropriate.
Courtesy of Mayor’s Office

Mayor Eric Adams spent a portion of his weekly briefing on Tuesday at City Hall to defend allegations that the NYPD used excessive force during a confrontation with a Venezuelan couple who live at a migrant shelter at 148-18 Archer Ave. in Jamaica.

On the night of Friday, March 8, at 11 p.m. police from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica responded to a call of a dispute involving an intoxicated man who was threatening staff. Upon arrival, officers found 47-year-old Yanny Cordero—allegedly drunk— holding his 1-year-old son in the middle of a scrum at the shelter’s elevator, which was captured on video provided to the New York Times.

Officers gave him multiple warnings amid the chaos and ordered him to give the child to someone else which he refused, police said. 

Police reportedly tasered and struck Cordero multiple times but that went unmentioned in the police report, which noted that the child was unharmed and the Administration for Children’s Services was notified and responded. His 22-year-old wife, Andrea Parrar, interfered while her husband was being arrested.

The mayor said that he had seen the video of the confrontation.

“I saw the incident, and I spoke with the commissioner over the weekend,” Adams said. “I don’t know if people realize the number of injuries a police officer encounters when they attend a domestic violence incident and that heightens when a person is under the influence of drugs, narcotics, alcohol. This person was under the influence of alcohol, holding a child.”

Cordero reportedly denied he was drunk and there is no mention of intoxication in the criminal complaint.

“These are very volatile situations. Those officers acted accordingly,” Adams said. “They wanted to get that child out of that gentleman’s hand after warning him several times, asking him to turn over the child several times, he refused to. He was violent, he was volatile. They had to take that necessary action, and, you know, based on our review, those officers took appropriate action.”

Cordero and Parrar were booked at the 103rd Precinct and arraigned at Queens Criminal Court on Saturday on a complaint charging them with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child because the couple’s two other children, ages 3 and 5, were present during the confrontation.

The couple were ordered to return to court on June 11 and were reunited with their children following their release. The mayor is standing by the NYPD.

“All of this is on body-worn camera,” Adams said. “Those officers responded to a person who was dangerous and they took appropriate actions and domestic incidents [are] extremely dangerous.”