An NYPD officer has been suspended after being seen punching a young Black girl in the head during an after-school brawl on Staten Island.
The incident in the viral video happened on Tuesday (Jan. 3) near the intersection of Willowbrook Road and Forest Avenue in the Port Richmond area just before 3 p.m. According to the New York Post, the unnamed officer has been sent home without pay for his actions, and an investigation is underway.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams spoke on the violent melee during a press conference held yesterday (Jan. 4), stating that he was displeased with what he saw on the footage.
“It was NYPD — not school safety agents — and so we are going to look at the bodycam from the police officers,” said Adams. “That’s why the body cams are good. We’re going to use the video that was posted on Instagram. That’s where it first came to my attention. I was not happy with what I saw on the video.”
According to channel NBC New York, police sources and witnesses said a fight between two sisters and another girl broke out around the Edwin Markham Middle School bus stop, and when authorities attempted to break it up by detaining the 14-year-old girl, her 12-year-old sister allegedly swung at the officer, at which point he swung back. That is when things escalated. The officer added that the older sister reached for his handcuffs and hit him in the head as well.
Kyonna Robinson, the girl who claims to have gotten jumped, spoke with The Post about what happened.
“I jumped in, and the cops came and were supposed to be breaking it up, but the cops got into the fight,” Kyonna said to reporters. “Then everyone was just in handcuffs, and my sister [was] in handcuffs, and I went up to my sister and asked the cops, ‘What are you doing?’ and he pushed me, and then I hit him two times, and then he hit me 11 times. I thought they would break up the fight. I didn’t think they would get into the fight.”
Police sources allege that they were attempting to deescalate the situation, but said the 14-year-old hit the officer first and provoked them.
“There was a fight between two girls. We tried to intervene, and it looks like one of the girls tried to stop us from intervening,” reported an NYPD spokesperson. “They tried to handcuff one of the girls, and someone was pulling at them.”
While a police source agreed that the officers tried to resolve the problem, excessive force was witnessed in the footage.
“If you watch the body-worn camera, it’s just complete mayhem,” the source admitted. “I guess the officer overreacted. She hits him first, and then he responds by striking her more than once. That’s problematic.”
The 14-year-old said she suffered from a knot on her head and migraines. Police arrested her and gave her 12-year-old sister a juvenile report for her alleged actions. The girls’ mother, Taneesha Robinson, stated she was disappointed and in awe of what she witnessed.
“It’s upsetting,” Taneesha said to The NY Post. “I mean, it’s really upsetting to see a man hit a woman, but even more so to see a grown man hitting a 14-year-old girl, and then just even more upsetting when that grown man is a police officer who’s supposed to be out there protecting women and children. It’s shocking. You don’t expect that.”
See the video below.