Thursday, October 9, 2014 10:13 pm
New videos have emerged showing New York police assaulting teenage marijuana suspects, raising fresh questions about officer brutality three months after a black father of six died in custody.
One of the videos, which quickly went viral, shows a plainclothes officer in broad daylight apparently knocking unconscious a teenager on suspicion of smoking marijuana in Brooklyn.
“You wanna get fucked up?” the officer threatens.
The suspect, identified as a 17-year-old by local media, lies on the curb, screaming in pain as the officer wedges his foot into his pelvis area. The incident happened in Brooklyn in June.
The young man insists he was only smoking tobacco.
“Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir,” he says. “It was just a cigarette.”
The knockout blow is audible but not visible on the tape.
“You knocked him out, you knocked him out,” a bystander shouts followed by: “Wake him up, wake him up.”
– Promises of police reform –
A second video, obtained by DNAinfo New York, shows another young man, reportedly a 16-year-old, being punched in the face and pistol-whipped after a brief chase in Brooklyn in August.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took office this year with a promise to reform police tactics and repair distrust between the force and the public, particularly black and Hispanic communities.
Yet another video, obtained by the New York Daily News this week, filmed an incident in which an officer allegedly steals money from a man during a nighttime stop-and-frisk in Brooklyn.
Local media said the man complained that $1,300 was stolen and that he was pepper-sprayed when he demanded it back.
Police said the incident was precipitated by a call of a man with a gun, and was under investigation.
– Police conduct increasingly questioned –
New York police conduct has been increasingly questioned since Eric Garner, 43, a father of six, died after being wrestled to the ground by several white police officers on July 17.
Garner, accused of illegally selling cigarettes, resisted arrest and was put in an outlawed “chokehold” position.
His family announced Tuesday that they intended to sue the city and police for $75 million.
Weeks after his death, cell phone footage captured in September showed a pregnant woman being thrown to the ground by police after she tried to intervene in her teenage son’s arrest in Brooklyn.
A female friend who came to help was also shown being shoved and rolling along the road in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Yet another video showed a police officer kicking a street vendor in the back when he was already on the ground during an altercation at the end of a Brooklyn street fair in September.
Police said the officer was suspended during an investigation.
And on Wednesday afternoon, a 46-year-old man wanted for theft developed breathing difficulties and died after trying to escape arrest in Queens, police told AFP.
Following a chase on foot, “the gentleman was having difficulty breathing so the officers helped administer medication that he had on his person. He then later dropped to the floor,” a spokesman said.
After he passed out, officers removed his handcuffs, administered CPR and called for an ambulance but the hospital declared him dead on arrival, police said.
NYPD, the largest urban police force in the United States, is investigating the incident.