Newly released video recorded last week shows an NYPD cop kneeling on a man’s head while pointing his gun at concerned onlookers begging the officer to “calm down” during an arrest.
Footage shows a plainclothes officer wearing orange Nikes kneeling on top of a man’s head and brandishing his gun, pointing it sideways at onlookers witnessing the incident.
“Step back,” the enraged cop yells at witnesses, aiming his gun at one man taunting him for pulling his gun.
The man being arrested remained still and quiet throughout the video even though the officer presses his knee onto his head, wedging it between his knee and the ground.
Three more officers can be seen in the background wrestling another man, pushing him face down onto the curb.
The video, sent to New York Daily News, shows cash scattered near the second suspect.
“Yo! Get all the money, bro!,” one witness screams.
The officer kneeling on the man’s head draws his weapon again after a woman steps towards him kneeling on the man’s head.
“Get back!” he orders again.
One witness can be heard shouting profanities and criticizing the officer for drawing his gun.
“Put the gun down,” he says as the officer waves his gun at onlookers.
That’s when another plainclothes cop dressed in a Mets jersey shouts as he pushes people back, closing the gate.
“Get the f–k out of here,” he says.
Another plainclothes cop appears to bleed from his noses in the video.
“Yeah. I know I’m bleeding,” he says.
On Sunday, NYPD did not have a comment regarding the video.
However, on Monday NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the incident happened while police attempted to arrest a suspect who didn’t want to be peacefully arrested.
“This was an arrest they made, or were attempting to make, where an individual decided that as he was being arrested he was going to take whatever cash I assume he had stolen and throw that up into a crowd, creating a chaotic situation,” O’Neill said during a press conference.
“While that was happening, two other individuals decided that hey were not going to let… that person be arrested. There was a physical struggle.”
“If somebody does not want to be arrested, sometimes it doesn’t look pretty,” O’Neill said, giving the same explanation many departments give when being accused of using excessive force.
Officers arrested the two suspects seen in the video, 29-year-old Carey Cruise and 26-year-old Edwin Barreto.
Cruise faces charges of criminal possession of a knife, stolen property, petty larceny and possession of stolen property.
Barreto was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, menacing, obstructing government administration and assaulting a police officer.
Police also issued a summons to 21-year-old Natalie Urrea for harassment and disorderly conduct.