His hands were up, but a black man suspected of helping himself to a slice of pizza still got a brutal beatdown from Brooklyn cops, surveillance video shows.
The cost of the slice to New York Fried Chicken on Saratoga Avenue: $3.
The potential cost of the incident to taxpayers: Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars if aspiring hip-hop artist Thomas Jennings, 24, wins an expected lawsuit -- his second suit against the NYPD.
Workers at the Bed-Stuy chicken joint called 911 to say they were threatened with a knife and that two men walked out with a slice each, and the oregano shakers.
Police Officers Lenny Lutchman and Pearce Martinez caught up to Jennings at nearby Raslin Grocery in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
On the video, first obtained by The Daily News, Lutchman is seen talking to Jennings, who quickly had his hands up in the air.
Beefy, burly Martinez then comes in like a running back and lands three rock 'em, sock 'em blows on Jennings, whose hands remain up. Lutchman also hit the unarmed man with the billy club.
“I didn’t ever know it was coming,” said Jennings, who suffered facial abrasions and a massive black eye that is swollen shut.
The entire July 7 incident -- from the alleged theft to the police use of force -- is being investigated by police internal affairs and the Brooklyn District Attorney.
Jennings, who performs as "Sen’Tekk” with a misoc group called BeenFamily, was charged with robbery and held without bail for almost an entire week until the DA’s office decided against seeking an indictment.
Jennings had another past violent interaction with cops and is suing in Brooklyn Federal Court, The News says.
He alleges that cops fractured his eye socket when called to a domestic dispute with an ex-girlfriend.
The paper also reported that Lutchman was sued for use of excessive force. The city settled for $12,500.