The NYPD has released body camera footage of a officer encounters a woman in Harlem amid inquiries over mobile phone video showing a police smack dropping a 19-year-old woman onto the pavement. Tensions rose on Wednesday. Now the Manhattan district attorney’s response is fanning the flames again.
The altercation broke out on Tuesday when police said officers were trying to arrest a man for attempted murder on West 136th Street near Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. Police said at least three people were arrested for trying to interfere in the arrests, including 19-year-old Tamani Crum, who is seen in the video approaching officers and pushing a detective.
The video shows the detective responding with a right hook to Crum’s head. He was thrown backwards on impact and ended up hitting his head on the pavement. Crum, a hairdresser, was initially arrested by the NYPD on various charges, including assaulting an officer. In an updated statement on Thursday, the department said he had been charged with obstruction.
The NYPD launched an investigation after jarring video showed a woman being hit by a police officer she was pushing.
This clarifies the narrative further. The officers “attempted to detain a person when a fight broke out and a crowd formed around the officer. The person carried an illegally loaded Polymer 80 semi-automatic pistol, known as a ‘ghost gun’. NYPD officers removed another illegal firearm – and people who are brave enough to carry it in public – from the streets of our city,” the statement said.
It said detectives attempted to fend off Crum with “open arms” and that the woman remained conscious after the fall. Police said he was taken to hospital at his own request. Two other women were also charged with obstruction.
“This incident, including the officer’s violent behavior, is being reviewed by our Bureau of Home Affairs Force Group. All body-worn camera footage of the police, as well as other video surveillance of the area and witness statements, are being collected and reviewed,” it said. NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. “While the NYPD is committed to the safety of all New Yorkers, we are also committed to transparency. Therefore, I have accelerated the removal of officer-worn cameras.”
The Manhattan prosecutor’s office said Thursday it would charge him with one count of second-degree obstruction of government administration, a misdemeanor.
Crum was acquitted on his own admission following his indictment Wednesday. The prosecutor’s lack of assault charges is likely a legal issue. Bringing such an indictment requires evidence that the defendant’s conduct caused physical injury. The prosecutor’s office said an overall investigation into the case was ongoing. But the detective union said it was surprised by the response.
Crum’s mother was much more surprised by the video. She says she can’t even bring herself to watch it, still angry at the bruises she claims are on her daughter’s body because of what happened.
“I was blown away to see this happen to my daughter, it was so painful for a mother to see that,” Julia Crumb exclusively told NBC New York. “They just violated the rights of these children. He should never, never, never touch him, or any woman. He was wrong.”
Pastor Stephan Marshall of the National Action Network has another question
“The question is: When did it become a crowd control ploy to knock other people out?” he asked the assembled crowd to gather outside the police station.
Detective Kendo Kinsey has had six complaints filed against him over the past 10 years, according to the Civil Complaints Review Board (CCRB), which investigates allegations of police misconduct by residents. None of those claims have been proven.
A lawyer for the Crum family, Jamie Santana Jr., accused the behavior in this incident of being unjustified.
“This must stop, and we seek full accountability in this action,” the lawyer said.
The detectives’ union said it was considering a lawsuit, too, against Crum.