NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York City police officer has been suspended after a video surfaced showing the cop kick a man at a street fair in Brooklyn.
As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, the melee happened Sunday night at the Fifth Avenue Festival at 46th Street in Sunset Park when police moved in to tell vendors the fair was over and they had to break down.
Jonathan Daza was on the ground when one police officer from the 72nd precinct kicked him; others in the crowd claim they were grabbed by cops for no reason.
The amateur video shows officers arresting a man in a black and white jacket. Another officer comes up and appears to kick the man in the side, then walks away.
“That’s good that there’s proof. If not there would’ve been no proof that I was hit by the cops,” Daza said.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Daza said that he and his sister were trying to clean up their family fruit stand when the officers started to get aggressive.
“She started saying ‘if you want to (expletive) with us we’re gonna (expletive) with you’ and there was no point at saying that. There was no way of us showing threat to anyone,” Daza said, “I didn’t do nothing. I was just standing there and they came up to me.”
Daza was among five people charged with resisting arrest. Now, he says he’s afraid of cops.
“I’m scared more. I got beaten by them,” he said.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday the officer has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified desk duty while the department investigates.
“We will treat those types of actions on the part of our officers very seriously,” Bratton said Wednesday.
Bratton said the fair was supposed to end at 6 p.m., but it was still going a half-hour later. Officers tried to clear the street for traffic.
“As best I could tell, looking at that video, seemed to have been totally unprovoked,” Bratton added.
WARNING: The following video includes violence and profane language
Edwin Morales says he was trying to get his daughter out of the crowd when he was accosted by police.
“They tried pushing me and they told me to get on the grounds and I wouldn’t get on the ground. They jumped on me, hitting me on the back. I covered my face,” he said.
Morales was among the five people charged with resisting arrest.
Ramonida Ginel’s brother and ex-husband were both arrested and blames police for provoking things.
“If they would have spoken to them properly. I know this family, they do no harm to nobody, they are sweet people,” she said.
Some elected officials say there needs to be a broader conversation between police and the community in Sunset Park. Commissioner Bratton says that will happen.
“There will probably convening a large-scale community town hall meeting with elected officials over there and with the various communities,” he said.
Commissioner Bratton said that the NYPD is planning to hold a town hall meeting to address the community’s concerns.
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