A disturbing video circulating online shows dozens of NYPD officers dragging what appears to be an unconscious teenager from a house, then dropping him on the street next to a police cruiser. The officers eventually lift the young man's apparently unresponsive body into the backseat of the patrol car, footage shows, as horrified residents shout in disbelief and beg for an ambulance.
"You don't knock nobody out like that," one woman pleads. "He's out unconscious in 100 degree weather."
Asked to provide further information on the video, a police spokesperson responded, "Who informed you that this individual was unconscious?" The spokesperson would not respond to further questions about the incident. A spokesperson for the Mayor's Office said that he hadn't seen the video, and directed further questions to Communications Chief Peter Donald. [UPDATE BELOW]
Details about the arrest are scant, and it's unclear where and when the incident occurred. At least one police cruiser belongs to the 32nd Precinct, which includes Harlem.
A six-minute video of the interaction was uploaded to Facebook last Tuesday, July 17th, along with the caption, "Thats mess up what they did to lil man just for a probation violation." A two-minute portion of that footage was shared on Twitter on Monday night, and quickly went viral. The two videos do not show the actual arrest, and neither uploader could be immediately reached for comment.
NYPD beat a teenager unconscious, refused him medical care, dragged his lifeless body around, dropped him on the concrete, and then tried to stuff him inside a police car. This is the behavior that killed Freddie Gray. pic.twitter.com/JLtmgils83
— Achmat X (@AchmatX) July 23, 2018
"Seems it took the entire 32nd precinct to arrest a teenager for a probation violation," tweeted Rebecca Kavanagh, a public defender with the Legal Aid Society. "By arrest, I mean beat him unconscious, drag him along the ground & throw him in the back seat of a patrol car. This is what [Mayor Bill de Blasio] calls #communitypolicing."
In the longer version of the video (below), a phalanx of officers can be seen entering the property, while others attempt to disperse a tense crowd gathering outside the house. As some residents appear to confront the heavy police presence, one officer drops her taser, setting off a scramble and leading police to aggressively clear the area. One officer takes out a nightstick, as a police commander threatens onlookers with arrest.
The young man is removed from the property a few minutes later. "He has no weapon," says one bystander. "He has nothing on him. He has no ambulance."
In handcuffs, he is dragged to a police car, and placed on the pavement on the passenger side of a police vehicle. "Y'all going to put him in there like that?" one resident repeatedly asks, as cops hover over the body. "He can't even stand up."
Several other onlookers also desperately appeal to the NYPD officers to call for medical assistance. One responds that he can't get an ambulance on the street, apparently referring to the gathered crowds and parked cars. The suspect is then placed horizontally in the back of the car, which is quickly driven away.
This is ongoing story, and we'll update as more information becomes available. You can see the full video below:
Update: According to NYPD Director of Communications Peter Donald, the handcuffed man is Keith Woody, 22, who is wanted for an active parole warrant for criminal possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment. He was approached by officers last Monday at the intersection of West 127th Street and Lenox Avenue, and fled to the roof of a building on West 129th Street, down a fire escape, and onto the street, Donald told Gothamist.
He was apprehended outside a nearby building by police officers and brought to the 32nd Precinct, the spokesperson added, and was eventually transported to Saint Luke's Hospital for medical observation and attention. He was released later that day after it was determined that he sustained no injuries, according to police. He was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, and criminal trespass.
The police spokesperson could not say whether the suspect was conscious during his trip to the precinct, and did not respond to a question about why he was not initially placed in an ambulance.