TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_The video shows Fitzroy Gayle, 20, pleads for help as several officers wrestle him into submission Wednesday night on a Brooklyn sidewalk.
It shows one of the officers swinging at the man who says "Help me!......I am not resisting!"
According to Detective Denise Moroney, an NYPD spokesperson, the man was stopped because officers saw "two males inside the park smoking a lit marijuana cigarette and as the officers approached the individuals they fled the location."
One was issued a summons, while Gayle was arrested in spite of the fact that NYPD officers have been already told not to apprehend people for smoking weed in New York City.
The video, recorded by a woman who then tweeted it, viewed millions of times on social media.
I’m walking home from work and this undercover cop was holding this man. The guy asked for the cop to identify himself, he ignore that. He asked what crime he commit, he ignore that too. I pulled out my phone. You can hear the guy screaming “I never thought it would happen to me” pic.twitter.com/YW2dI3g8fk— Velvet (@TheVelvetRope__) March 5, 2020
The video shows at first Gayle asks a plainclothes police officer, who has cornered him, “What crime did I commit? What did I do? He saw me in the park and came out and followed me. Why are you following me?”
Moments later, three more officers run towards Gayle and tackle him to the ground as it can be seen in the footage.
At least eight officers became involved in the incident before Gayle was taken away.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Thursday he was ordering an internal investigation, adding, there were “some disturbing points" to the video.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that “this was painful to watch.”
“We still need to get all the facts about this case and a full investigation is underway, but I don’t like what I saw. It doesn't reflect what we’re building in New York City.”
Also, some criminal justice advocates and public defenders raised questions about police behavior toward the man.
"There is no possible justification for this horrific use of violence," wrote Rebecca Kavanagh, a criminal defense attorney.
"This young man is going to be scarred for life," said Anthony Posada, supervising attorney of the Community Justice Unit at the Legal Aid Society.
The witness who took the video also said, "If [he] was allegedly smoking then why didn’t the cop identify himself while he was wearing street clothes. Why did the cop not answer what crime he committed? And why did eight cops have to force him to the ground (while kneeing and stomping him)?"
Fatal police shootings and other forms of violence against African Americans have sparked massive protests across the US in recent years.