VIDEO: NYPD Cop Under Investigation After Video Shows Him Winning Fight
New York, NY – A New York Police Department (NYPD) officer is under investigation after footage of a violent arrest made during a social-distancing patrol went viral (video below).
The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday when officers tried to enforce social distancing at the corner of East Ninth Street and Avenue D in the East Village and the people became disorderly, the New York Post reported.
Officers had told people to disperse and were dealing with some who refused to move along.
They could be seen resisting officers’ attempts to put handcuffs on them.
The video showed the officers had the suspects up against a building and then took them to the ground in an effort to take them into custody.
A video posted to Facebook by Daquan Owens showed that's when bystanders were encroaching on the officers.
Suddenly a plainclothes officer, identified by sources to the New York Post as NYPD Officer Francisco Garcia jumped up and started walking toward a man who had gotten too close, the video showed.
Officer Garcia was holding a Taser pointed in the direction of the onlookers and ordered them to “get back” as he approached.
Then he engaged the trigger for the stun gun so it would make a cracking sound as he continued to walk toward them, the video showed.
“Move the f--k back!” Officer Garcia ordered the onlookers several times.
“What are you flexing for?” the officer asked a man as he holstered his Taser.
That’s when the man came in at the officer while in a bladed stance with his fist clenched, the video showed.
The man then appeared to swing his fist at the officer.
The video showed the officer grabbed the man – later identified as 33-year-old Donnie Wright – and pushed him backwards.
Then Officer Garcia slapped Wright in the face and took him to the ground, where he proceeded to punch his upper body and slap his face again, the video showed.
The officer dragged the man back to the sidewalk and put a knee into his back to keep him face down on the pavement as another plainclothes officer jumped in to assist Officer Garcia in taking Wright into custody.
The video showed Officer Garcia delivered more blows to Wright in the process of trying to get the man’s arms behind his back for handcuffs.
Then Officer Garcia sat on the handcuffed man’s head and pulled his Taser out of its holster, the video showed.
The video showed a uniformed officer took over and Officer Garcia headed back into the arrest taking place behind him, involving the original group of people the officers were arresting when he tangled with Wright.
Wright was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, menacing, and resisting arrest, the New York Post reported.
NYPD told the New York Post in a statement that Officer Garcia had felt threatened when Wright took up a fighting stance.
“It started out as a social distancing enforcement,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters on Sunday. “I am aware of the video that’s out there.”
Commissioner Shea said Officer Garcia had been placed on modified duty while an Internal Affairs investigation was conducted.
“I would just reiterate that we had tens of thousands of interactions with people all across the city yesterday, most of them without having to issue any type of enforcement activity, whether it’s a summons or arrest,” the commissioner said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio lashed out at Officer Garcia in a tweet on Sunday.
“Saw the video from the Lower East Side and was really disturbed by it,” the mayor posted. “The officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun. The behavior I saw in that video is simply not acceptable.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: