When New York City police officers were called to break up a fight between teens, it ended in a violent subway brawl that pitted officers against the Black teens Saturday.
Cellphone video of the incident, which was reported at about 2:20 a.m. at the Jay Street-MetroTech station, showed nearly a dozen cops, some of them punching and wrestling with teens, the New York Post reported.
At one point in the incident, an officer was seen running up to a person in the crowd and punching him in the face.
“Ohhhh,” the crowd responded.
The subway platform had already erupted in violence when police response seemed to cause it to spiral out of control.
One officer could be heard asking the person recording to put his phone away, which he declined.
“You can’t tell me ‘put the phone away,'” he said. “I know my rights. I know my rights.”
Another police officer who was wearing a turban tried to usher the crowd of onlookers away from the violence.
“Back up. Back up. Back up,” he said calmly.
Seconds later, a white officer was shown punching a young black male walking away from the violence.
He was shown swinging back at the officer, launching a blow-for-blow scuffle until other officers stepped in to break up the encounter.
The person targeted by the officer was wearing a white sweatshirt. When the cop hit him, the person recording started screaming:
“He just punched him for no reason! Y’all see this? Y’all see this?”
The person in the white sweatshirt ended up on the ground, surrounded by police. The video showed officers putting handcuffs on him.
“He didn’t even do nothing,” the person recording said.
He repeated the words at least 10 times.
“Officer, he did not do nothing,” he told a cop trying to control the crowd.
The incident ended with three 18-year-olds charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct, police told PIX11.
A 16-year-old was also charged with reckless endangerment and a 15-year-old was charged with resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct, the news station reported.
Brooklyn Borough President and former NYPD Officer Eric Adams, a Black man, said on Twitter Sunday that he watched the footage several times.
“The one officer who punched the two teens should immediately be placed on modified assignment until a complete investigation is carried out,” Adams said in the tweet. “At best, his actions were off base and reflect poorly on @NYPDNews.”
Adams said in another tweet Sunday that he planned to talk to police chief Terence Monahan about improving officer training.
“As a former police officer, I know one of the most difficult parts of policing is interacting with young people amid a dispute,” Adams said. “This is another clear example of why deescalation training matters.”