New York police officers violently arrested a 20-year-old man they assumed was smoking marijuana in the park Wednesday in an incident that was caught on video and subsequently went viral.
The video, recorded by a passerby and posted on Twitter, shows a young black man being held by a plainclothes police officer in the Canarsie neighborhood in Brooklyn. The man, Fitzroy Gayle, repeatedly asks the officer, “What crime did I commit?” “What did I do?” but he doesn’t answer.
Seven more police officers then approach Gayle and tackle him to the ground as he cries out and screams “Help me!” and “Officer, please!” One of the officers appears to step on his ankle.
Gayle told BuzzFeed News he didn’t know why he was being arrested when the police descended on him.
“It’s not like I was fighting with the officers. I was just trying to find out why [they were arresting me],” he said. “I was panicking a little because I had never been in this type of situation before. They probably took that as me being aggressive.”
Warning: The video contains violence and may be difficult for some people to watch.
people to watch.