An NYPD officer has been placed on modified assignment after a video showed officers punching a man during a Brooklyn arrest.
A department spokesman announced this afternoon that the officer, 49, is assigned to the 71st Precinct in Crown Heights and no longer on his regular duties while they investigate the incident.
Politicians had called today for the two officers to be fired after a video showed police punching a man as they arrested him at a youth center in Crown Heights.
Video of the arrest last week shows two police officers arresting a man in what becomes a violent encounter, when an officer punches him as they apparently attempt an arrest.
According to top police spokesman Paul Browne, police responded to a call reporting a dispute at the center. Police say Ehud Haleavy, 21, refused to leave the women’s area of the center.
Browne also said the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, as well as the Civilian Complain Review Board, is reviewing the incident, in which officers “used force to affect the arrest,” Browne said.
Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said the police assaulted Haleavy.
Williams said a security guard at the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults (ALIYA) Institute, a Crown Heights Jewish youth center, called cops, who asked Haleavy to leave. He told officers he had permission to stay there, Wiliams said.
Halevi was pepper sprayed as well as beaten by police, according to the Councilman.
“This is another low for abuse of police power,” said Williams, who last week coordinated a Council hearing that aimed to restrict police tactics like stop and frisk. “Good policing does not require the excessive use of force.”
Brooklyn Councilman David Greefield said the officers should be fired.
Cops punched Haleavy more than 20 times, Greenfield said.
“That’s insane,” he said.
He added that the officers appeared 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,” he continued.
Police told CBS the man was intoxicated and became combative when officers asked him to leave.
Haleavy was charged with assault, resisting arrest and trespassing as well as marijuana charges, according to the NYPD.
In the video, the two police officers approach the man in a room with a couch and a pool table.
The officers seem to try to talk to him before he becomes agitated and pushes out at them.
Then, one police officer gets in a boxing position and begins punching at the man, who moves onto the couch.
The police officer can be seen raising his right arm multiple times and hitting the person as he is on the couch.
Both officers then attempt to move the man from the couch.
About a dozen officers eventually enter the room, and the man is handcuffed behind his back and escorted out of the room, within about five minutes from when the two officers initially entered.
Both Greenfield and Williams were outspoken at a Council meeting last week regarding the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk, and both urged a bill for an Inspector General to oversee the department.