New York Transit Officer Criticized Over Videotaped Arrest

This video has caused a stir over alleged use of excessive force by a Transit police officer in New York city.

It is not clear what prompted the escalation but the video does capture the tension at such confrontations. The officer appears to be ordering the suspect to do something just before the escalation. The officer throws the suspect to the ground either when he jerks or fails to respond to a command. It also shows how video cameras have changed the environment for police operations, (as discussed) which is why some prosecutors and police have worked hard to try to punish citizens who videotape officers in public.

I have been unable to find out what the young man was charged with after this arrest.

20 thoughts on “New York Transit Officer Criticized Over Videotaped Arrest”

  1. Plainly seen….there was no threat against the officer when the youth had his hands up against the wall. If the officer was going to handcuff him he could have placed one cuff on the wrist of the youth WHILE IT WAS UP ON THE WALL!!!!. THERE WAS NO NEED TO TAKE THIS YOUTH AND SLAM HIM DOWN TO THE FLOOR!! I am a huge NYC Transit Police (Pre-1995) supporter. But this was unnecessary force. It could have been handled WAY differently. REGARDLESS what the youth was questioned for.

    Hope the officer got reprimanded for excessive force. Personally… I would have punted his shield across the tracks to the express tracks to make his day worse. This officer is sloppy!!!!!!

  2. One time I went to court and an audio tape recording was the only tangible evidence. Heavily flawed recording. Barely audible. Lots of the recording was fuzzy. Some clear blank spaces. The complainant testified under oath that the recording was incomplete.

    Circuit court judge accepted it into evidence anyway over my objection. Judicial parasites? Judicial incompetence?

    The complainant was a lying wench who’s a supervisory revenue agent for the IRS. After I was found guilty by a jury the judge tried to lecture me. I told him the trial’s over.

    I had to go in there the day before for jury selection but there wasn’t any jury selection. After the jury left he told me to stay and was asking me questions that he should have asked the day before.

    I told the most Honorable judge I have documentary evidence that proves everything I’m saying. You should have asked me these questions yesterday. Waukesha, WI Circuit Court. Be sure to respect the judicial process. Some of them are incompetent (choose whatever term you want).

  3. The kid allegedly jumped a turnstile so it wasn’t a “stop and frisk”. There was nothing wrong with the frisk. The kid did resist and the take downs were relatively gentle especially when in the first you can see the transit cop keeping the kid from slamming into the concrete. Compare that to purposeful face plants seen in other videos.

    I am not known at Carlos Miller’s blog PINAC as pro-police, which does not except in failed logic anti-police either. When they do something wrong they should be punished, but this wasn’t one of those times.

  4. Frame by frame at 44 the cops arm is in the guys armpit, 45 he is pulling him down. Lookinig at it moving there is definitely something hinky at 44, 45, there is a jerk that has not been there in the earlier.. I wonder if this is complete and unadulterated.

  5. It looked like the kid wouldn’t let go of the poster frame and let his arm be brought down to start the handcuffing process, the poster/frame was pulled off the wall. After that first take-down he grabbed the poster frame again and wouldn’t let go the second time. This will be a non-case due to the kids resistance to being handcuffed IMO.

  6. The violent takedown by the LEO was an administrative punishment for being frisked by the police officer.

  7. As has been discussed in the media ad infinitum, New York City has a ‘stop and frisk’ policy which allows LEOs to stop and frisk ANYONE that they choose, WHENEVER they choose, regardless of ‘reasonable suspicion’ or ‘probable cause’ (apparently being young and black or hispanic are the principal ‘probable causes’ for such treatment), so it’s just possible that the guy in the clip actually DIDN’T do anything more than 1) be African American and 2) decide he didn’t want to be groped by the cop.

  8. I noted there were a few missing frames in the recording between when the kid got a little squirrely and just before the take down. I don’t know if it was a camera glitch or editing.

    Nevertheless we need to look at the environment. I suspect there was something that happened prior to the arrest that alerted the officer to the kid, either he recognized something in him or received a radio report of a crime. Where the arrest was made it was just 10 or so feet away from subway trains passing by. Very hazardous given the possibility of being pushed or falling to the tracks. If I thought the kid was going to fight or draw a weapon I would have dropped him to the ground just as this officer did. It is better to tangle with someone on the ground with trains / cars or whatever near by than to wrestle with each other on foot and who knows where you or he will end up.

    If I intended to arrest someone, I hooked them up in cuffs fast and frisked them afterward. Frisking uncuffed persons is much more hazardous.

  9. I looked at it a couple of times right before the kid jerks away from him. I saw what looked like something glingtin in the kid upraised right hand. Could he have had a weapon? Without context I do not find this upsetttiing. The videographer on the other hand kept asking for the name, etc trying to take the attention away from his suspect who had one point did try to break away. Good for the videotaping, I dont know what the circumstances were, and if the taper had succeeded in causing the officer to lose the suspect who would be to blame, still the cop for trying to attend to 2 different things at the same time?
    Let’s so after the bad cops, and I am glad for the tapes that are surfacing to prove it but we now seem to want to paint all cops caught on videotape with the same brush wihtout waiting for the full situation to come out. As a lawyer, Prof forget the first caveat innocent until proven guilty.

  10. Is it me, or did that cop press himself against this young man right before he threw him to the ground? First the young man jerked when the cop’s hand reached up between his legs. Then, just for a second, the cop’s body makes physical contact with the young man’s lower back. He kind of gyrates into him, but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything but pushing himself into the kid. Something is weird about this.

  11. Svoogle,

    You mean some parts of the country are not there yet…..

  12. I didn’t see much here to raise my ire. Not knowing what prompted the take down, it’s hard to criticize it and I didn’t see any indicia of malice in the method used by the officer in the arrest or in his attitude post-arrest.

  13. Are you all deaf? the kid is clearly upset about being frisked forcefully and having his testicles touched, and screams “Don’t touch my balls”. If that’s resisting arrest and justifies physical abuse by a police officer, then I say “Welcome to Russia!”

  14. Typically, I’m horribly upset by videos of excessive police force… That being said, he’s obviously having trouble with this kid. My assumption is that there is something we’re missing. He leads the kid down the subway away from his friends and that’s when they start videotaping. He’s also clearly not following the officer’s orders and it seems that when the cop in feeling something in his pocket the kid starts squirming around.

    I think its somewhat excessive, but I want to hear this cop’s side of it…I don’t think its one of the many slam shut police brutality cases we continue to see.

    Either way… Good on the kids for videotaping (unless the purposefully left out a part with the kid resisting) AND good on the cop for keeping his cool and letting the kids videotape (even to the point of saying ‘my badge is on the ground right there’.)

  15. It looks like the young man reacted when the cop grabbed his genitals. He probably said something about it and then the cop decided to take him down, show him who’s boss..

  16. This guy needs a new profession after being charged with excessive force. It is disturbing to see the continued escalation of the use of force by police forces across the country.

  17. My take is the same as Mr. Turley but I would add the suspect may have said something along w/ not following an order. As a retired PI, who specialized in video surveillance in personal injury cases, I can attest to the power of video. It was decisive in many verdicts.

  18. A modicum of praise to the officer for not trying to stop the videotaping. That’s progress…

  19. It appears that there are two videos going….. Safety in numbers….

  20. Kudos to the citizen journalists.

    The hope is that these videos over time will put a damper on police brutality. It will be a long slog though.

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