NEW YORK (AFP) – 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.
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.”
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.