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With the NYPD, it’s kick heads first, ask questions later

To quote NYC's own Wu-Tang Clan, protect ya neck, kid.


Aaron Sankin


Posted on Oct 23, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 8:41 am CDT

The NYPD is kicking so many heads it can’t keep track of who’s a cop.

A video posted Thursday morning by DNAinfo New York shows an incident that occurred in January, captured on video by photographer Rod Risbrook.

In the clip, a pair of police officers—one of them in uniform—can be seen wrestling an alleged fare-skipper to the ground inside the Sitwell Avenue subway station in Brooklyn. The cops are able to take the suspect down, but the plainclothes officer also falls to the ground in the process. While the pair is struggling to restrain the suspect, a handful of other police officers rush in. The one in the front of that group, dressed in a grey hoodie, immediately delivers a swift kick to the back of the first head he sees.

That head belonged to another police officer.

“He kicked the cop,” an off-screen bystander can be heard saying with a sort of horrified bemusement. “He just kicked that cop.”

After realizing what he did, the officer in the grey hoodie apologizes to his college with a gentle tap on the head. Then he punches the suspect square in the face.

DNAinfo reports that the officer was stripped of his badge and gun after video of the incident surfaced online and then placed on modified duty. A Brooklyn District attorney told DNAinfo that what happened is being investigated by the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

This video isn’t the only time this year a NYPD officer has been recorded violently kicking a presumed suspect while that person was on the ground, in a manner that outside observers might view as unjustifiable.

In July, a video started circulating of another NYPD officer stomping on 32-year-old Jahmiel Curfee’s head while the suspect was already lying on the ground. Curfee was stopped by police after officers thought they saw him roll a joint on the street.

Then, in September, a clip surfaced of an NYPD officer kicking a vendor at a street fair in Brooklyn, even though the other officers present clearly already had the man on the ground and he no longer appeared to be a threat.

To quote New York City’s own Wu-Tang Clan, “protect your neck, kid.”

H/T Gawker | Photo by Heath Brandon/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 23, 2014, 1:23 pm CDT