A new video shows yet another alleged incident of excessive force by the New York City police department.
The video, obtained by The Brooklyn Paper and posted to YouTube on Oct. 8, shows a police officer apparently punching Marcel Hamer, 17, so hard that the boy is knocked unconscious. According to Hamer’s lawyers, he was walking home from school on June 4 through Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood when a plainclothes officer jumped out of his car and accused Hamer of smoking marijuana.
The footage begins with Hamer lying on his back in the gutter while his friends look on. “Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir,” a voice can be heard pleading with the officer, who’s holding onto Hamer's arm and ordering him to turn onto his stomach.
“Do you wanna get f****d up?” the officer shouts.
As the person filming the incident moves around a tree, the officer appears to strike Hamer. A thud can be heard, and the bystanders react to the noise while Hamer clutches his face.
“Yea, get it on film,” the officer responds.
Hamer goes limp as the officer orders him to turn around.
“You knocked him out!” one of the bystanders yells.
WARNING: Footage may be disturbing.
Brooklyn Paper reports that Hamer was later charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. He was not charged for possession of marijuana. Hamer’s mother told the paper that her son now suffers from dizziness, memory loss and headaches.
The New York Police Department said the incident is under investigation by the Internal Affairs department.
On Tuesday, DNAinfo released another video of an officer apparently striking a black teen in New York. That video showed an officer hitting Kahreem Tribble, 16, in the face with a gun after a brief chase through Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on Aug. 29.
In September, two videos were released showing instances of alleged police brutality in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. One video showed police slamming a visibly pregnant woman to the ground.
And in July, yet another video showed NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo putting 47-year-old Eric Garner into a chokehold -- a move the NYPD forbids its officers from using -- during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner later died from the altercation, the medical examiner’s office confirmed.
Police reform advocacy groups expressed outrage Wednesday over the footage of the altercation involving Hamer.
"It’s clear from the volume of video footage of police brutality over the past several weeks and the experiences of New Yorkers that police brutality and use of excessive force are systemic problems in our city,” Joo-Hyun Kang, of Communities United for Police Reform, told The Huffington Post in a statement. “This isn’t just a few bad apples, but is a crisis stemming from the lack of accountability for police wrongdoing and discriminatory, overaggressive policing directed at communities of color."
Loyda Colon, co-director of local police watchdog group Justice Committee, told HuffPost in a statement that the footage "is yet another example of a disturbing trend of police brutality perpetrated by the NYPD, often in the context of Broken Windows policing efforts."
"Broken Windows" refers to a policing strategy championed by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton which aggressively targets low-level offenses as a means of deterring more serious crimes. Critics charge that the strategy is ineffective and unfairly targets minorities.
Josmar Trujillo, of the group New Yorkers Against Bratton, is one of those critics.
"Bratton's Broken Windows theory, illustrated by the nature of the interaction with this Brooklyn teen, for marijuana, and also Eric Garner, for loosie cigarettes, continues to put communities at the mercy of aggressive cops," he told HuffPost. "Bratton and his policies need to go."
Trujillo also applauded Hamer's friend for filming the arrest.
"New Yorkers who document police abuse, from Staten Island to Sunset Park, are doing more to hold the NYPD accountable than any of our elected officials or police leaders," Trujillo said.