Crown Heights Residents Want All Charges Against Ehud Halevy Dropped

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was backlash in Brooklyn on Friday over a confrontation caught on video. It shows a police officer repeatedly punching a man during an arrest. The Jewish community in Crown Heights wants the charges against the suspect dropped.

They took to the streets chanting “Stop police brutality, drop the charges now!”

From Eastern Parkway to the station house of the 71st Precinct, there was a demand for justice for the 21-year-old beating victim.

“This was a vicious, malicious attack that was uncalled for,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind told CBS 2’s John Slattery on Friday.

Hikind was referring to an arrest last week following a violent confrontation that was captured on a video that has since gone viral.

“Everyone who sees this says this is not the way to behave. This is not acceptable,” Hikind said.

The man in the video is Ehud Halevy. The confrontation happened inside the ALIYA Center on East New York Avenue in Crown Heights on Oct. 8. A spokesman for the center said despite Halevy having permission to sleep there in a lounge, a security guard called police.

Watch the video below:

The video shows Halevy being pummeled by two officers, with one cop landing more than 20 punches. His partner, a woman, joined in with a baton. The victim’s lawyer said you can’t have a charge of resisting because he had permission to stay in the center.

“The underlying rationale was that he was engaged in trespassing and that’s just false,” attorney Norman Siegel said.

But one look at the beginning of the tape seems to suggest something else.

Before the punching begins, the shirtless man appears to chest-butt the male cop and pushes him away. The police union has said the officers’ conduct was justified because Halevy resisted.

State Sen. Eric Adams, a former police captain, disagreed.

“This is not a boxing ring. It’s about effective policing, taking the right tactics, doing what was correct,” Sen. Adams said.

The male officer has been placed on desk duty as the investigation proceeds.

Halevy was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and possession of marijuana.

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