Hundreds of people marched through downtown Brooklyn for hours to protest what they described as brutality by the New York Police Department.
Protesters chanted “no justice, no peace” Friday night as they marched by the Barclays Center arena, where the NBA team Brooklyn Nets play. The protests came days after a video shared widely on social media showed officers fighting with teens at a subway station in the city, according to CNN affiliate WABC.
Some protesters hurled profanities at officers, confronted them at a subway station and spray-painted police cars with slogans such as RIP Eric Garner — the man who was choked by a New York police officer in 2014, WABC video shows.
Those taking part in the protest highlighted the recent video that shows police breaking up a fight among teens at a metro station as an example of police brutality.
In the video, an officer can be seen punching what affiliates said was a 15-year-old boy after police responded to a fight between two large groups that spilled into the Jay Street-Metro Tec subway station. Teens allegedly kept fighting and resisted arrest, and one punched an officer, WLNY reported.
The officer who punched the teen has been assigned to non-enforcement duty pending the investigation, WABC reported. The NYPD has said not everything was captured on video and the video doesn’t show what happened before the officers were seen getting involved, WLNY reported.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams slammed the officer’s actions after the video emerged.
“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 said.
In response to the protests, the NYPD said in a statement that it works to ensure public safety as New Yorkers exercise their First Amendment rights. “Over the last five years, the NYPD has focused on precision policing. Our anti-gun and anti-violence strategies, coupled with our Neighborhood Policing philosophy, have allowed our officers to build stronger relationships with the community and drive crime down to historic lows while successfully bringing the most violent offenders to justice,” it said.
The protests follow another rally in July, the anniversary of Garner’s death. It took place a day after the Justice Department said it was declining to bring federal charges against the former New York police officer who was accused of fatally choking Garner. That officer, Daniel Pantaleo, last week filed a lawsuit against the NYPD over his subsequent termination.