NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Assemblyman Dov Hikind and others say they want a full investigation into the violent arrest of a man at a Jewish youth center in Brooklyn.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story
It happened at the ALIYA Center on East New York Avenue in Crown Heights on Oct. 8.
Police received a 911 call about a dispute involving a man who was trespassing at the location and refused to leave, the NYPD told 1010 WINS.
Surveillance video, which was first made public by CrownHeights.info, shows a male and female officer waking up a man who was asleep on a couch.
Watch the video below:
The video has no audio, but police said the officers asked the man to leave, but he refused. The man was intoxicated and became belligerent and combative, threatening the officers with violence if they made him move, police told 1010 WINS.
That’s when the confrontation between the man and the cops appears to intensify.
In the video, one of the cops pulls out a set of handcuffs and tries to restrain the man. That’s when he pushes the officer’s hands off his body and starts to back away.
The male officer then gets into what appears to be a boxing stance and punches the man in the face, the video shows.
In the video, the officer then throws the man onto a couch and continues to hit him multiple times while the female cop appears to beat him with what looks like a baton.
After a couple of minutes, several more officers arrive and the man is arrested.
Hikind said what is seen on the video is shocking.
“He did not attack the police officers. It’s the police officers who literally pummelled him, landing punch after punch,” he said. “I can’t believe that New York City’s Finest are trained to get into a boxing match with an individual. It saddens me.”
“At no point does the person being arrested ever raise his hands to the police,” Hikind told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “In fact he has his arms in back of him.”
Hikind said he spoke with the person who runs the facility who said the man wasn’t trespassing and had permission to be at the center.
“This person had permission to be there. He was sleeping on a couch during the holiday. Police woke him up and literally wanted him to leave,” Hikind told 1010 WINS. “He [said] ‘Why must I leave? I’ve been here for weeks, using this facility.’ This individual was partially homeless, he didn’t have a place.”
Hikind said he’s a big supporter of the NYPD as a whole, but said “when individuals do something that crosses the line, we need to deal with it.”
Hikind said he is calling on Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to investigate.
“This is not the kind of behavior that is acceptable on the part of the officers of the police department,” he said. “We want police officers to do their job but we don’t want them to violate the law.”
Councilman David G. Greenfield is also calling for an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office and said the two officers should be fired.
“These appear to be two of the worst members of the NYPD. It is an embarrassment to the entire outstanding police department that two trained and armed police officers were unable to arrest this individual without resorting to the disturbing violence clearly shown on the video. By my count, one officer punched the victim over 20 times after he was already subdued,” Greenfield said in a statement. “We must send a message that this type of violence against New York City citizens by anyone, much less police officers, will not be tolerated.”
It’s still unclear who called police in the first place.
The man was identified as Ehud Halevi by CrownHeights.info but as 21-year-old Ehud Haleavy by police. He was charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, harassment and unlawful possession of marijuana, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in a statement.
Browne said the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident and said it has also been referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
One of the officers has been placed on modified assignment while the incident is under investigation.
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