Brooklyn, NY – More than 1,000 protesters filled the streets of Brooklyn on Friday evening chanting “no justice, no peace” in response to videos that showed New York Police Department (NYPD) officers fighting with teens inside subway stations (videos below).
Shortly before 9 p.m. on Nov. 1, hundreds of protesters flooded Brooklyn subway stations in a “mass fare evasion” to protest the “criminalization of poverty.”
The protests were sparked by two videos that emerged of two different incidents involving NYPD officers and teenagers, a few hours apart in two different subway stations, on Oct. 25, WABC reported.
The first incident occurred when NYPD officers responded to break up a fight between two groups of teenagers on the platform of the Jay Street- MetroTech subway station.
The video showed a police officer punching one teen and taking a swing at another in the middle of the melee, WCBS reported.
Several teens were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer.
After the cell phone video of the fight was posted to social media, anti-police activists were furious and demanded action.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has called for the termination of the officer who punched the teens in the video, WCBS reported.
“To me, he went beyond the call of duty,” Adams said. “You’re not in a boxing match. That is not the goal and what I saw in that video is clearly outside of any training that I ever received in the police department.
“He took a chaotic situation that police had under control and he almost turned it into a riot situation based on his actions,” he told WCBS.
NYPD released a statement that said the officer who punched the teen had been put on desk duty pending the resolution of an investigation into the incident.
The second incident was captured on video at the Franklin Street subway stop just a few miles away.
The video showed police outside a stopped subway car with its doors still closed, and passengers moving away from the part of the car where the cell phone camera was focused.
In the video, at least one officer on the platform can be seen pointing a gun at the window of the occupied subway car, the New York Post reported.
Once the train cleared, a young man was sat alone on a seat facing the officers outside the subway car, with both of his hands in the air.
After a moment, the doors of the train car opened and two officers rushed in and took the teen to the ground, the video showed.
Then no less than 10 additional officers rushed into the subway car, several with their guns drawn or just starting to return their weapons to their holsters.
“In case you’re wondering how an arrest in NYC goes down,” Elad Nehorai captioned the video he posted to Twitter. “The guy has made absolutely no indication that he would flee or fight and wasn’t trying to hide.”
NYPD defended the officer in a statement and said that police had chased the suspect – 19-year-old Adrian Napier – into the Pacific Street subway station after a witness reported that he had brandished a gun near Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, the New York Post reported.
No gun was found on Napier when he was arrested, but NYPD said the suspect is a known member of the Crips street gang and has been arrested 14 times in the past for crimes including assault, robbery, and grand larceny.
Napier was charged with theft of services for jumping a turnstile and taken in for questioning in an unrelated larceny case, the New York Post reported.
The demonstration began on Friday evening in Brooklyn’s McLaughlin Park and spread through the borough as hundreds more joined.
Shortly before 9 p.m., hundreds of protesters headed into subway stations where they proceeded to jump turnstiles to reach the platform in what they called a “mass fare evasion" to protest the “criminalization of poverty.”
Watch the videos of the incidents that spark the protests here below: