Video shows NYPD officers using force to arrest three people for allegedly refusing to social distance in Brooklyn, one whom was unconscious.
Police said they tried to break up a group gathered on the corner of Fountain Avenue and Blake Avenue in East New York Saturday at around 8:40pm, in defiance of social-distancing orders.
Via the NYPost:
The footage shows three cops trying to handcuff 32-year-old Albert Jones — eventually forcing him to turn around and pushing him up against a car — as a crowd forms around them.
“Officers gave multiple commands for the group to disperse,” but Jones allegedly refused, a police spokeswoman said.
That’s when a man, identified by cops as Antonio Rivera, 28, rushes the officers from behind — and one of them flings his arm around and knocks the civilian to the ground.
“Stand back!” the cop yells at Rivera, who appears to lie still on the pavement.
The officer then flips Rivera on his stomach — and bystanders can be heard crying out in shock.
“He’s unconscious,” one person screams, as the cop places his knee on Rivera’s back to cuff him.
Several people continue to shout at the cops, and at least two can be seen with their phones out, filming the incident.
NYPD spokeswoman Detective Denise Moroney said that Rivera had “approached officers from behind in an aggressive manner and attempted to stop the arrest of [Jones].”
Another person, 31-year-old Gary Best, had also allegedly refused to disperse and became “boisterous, causing a large crowd to form,” the spokeswoman said.
“Physical force by police does not equal misconduct,” said Moroney.
“Under no circumstance are large group gatherings acceptable — they put our NYPD officers, frontline healthcare workers and others at risk,” she added.
“That said, social distancing is about raising awareness for the common good rather than punishing the few.”
All three men were hit with obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and several other charges. Jones was also charged with harassment in the second degree and disorderly conduct and Rivera was also charged with marijuana possession and resisting arrest.
Rivera was released without bail at his arraignment on Monday.