NYPD officer suspended after responding to fight between girls on Staten Island

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
NYPD officer suspended after responding to fight on Staten Island
An NYPD officer was suspended after a fight among students from I.S. 51 at a bus stop in Port Richmond, Staten Island. Anthony Johnson has the details.

PORT RICHMOND, Staten Island (WABC) -- An NYPD officer was suspended after police officials reviewed his response to a fight among girls at a bus stop on Staten Island.

The officer was assigned to a post at a bus stop for students from I.S. 51 and Port Richmond High School when the girls began fighting at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Two sisters, ages 14 and 12, appear to have gotten into a fight with a 14-year-old girl at Willowbrook Road and Forest Avenue.

When officers responded to the fight to try to break it up, things soon got out of control.

Video posted to social media appears to show at least one of the officers hitting at least one of the girls in the head before they were able to handcuff her.

A police official says the 14-year-old girl struck the suspended officer first, and he was being pulled at by the group and was attempting to gain control of the situation to make an arrest, but he number of times he struck the girl in response was deemed to be excessive.

Both sisters were charged. The 14-year-old was charged with assault and resisting arrest, and a juvenile report was taken for the 12-year-old girl for assault.

Based on video posted to social media and a review of the officer's body worn camera footage, one officer was subsequently suspended.

Mayor Eric Adams said he spoke to Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell about the video and said he was not happy with what he saw in the video.

However, Adams said the incident will not damage efforts for better police and community relations.

"These incidents are not going to erode the relationship that the people of the city have with the men and women of the New York City police department," Adams said.

The NYPD said the entire incident is under investigation by NYPD Internal Affairs. The officer could be suspended for up to 30 days.

The PBA is calling for a thorough investigation, "not summary judgment based on a few seconds of video."

PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said: "The police officers involved are entitled to due process, not summary judgment based on a few seconds of video. What is clear at this point is that these police officers were trying to break up a violent altercation when they themselves were assaulted. What is needed now is a thorough investigation of the entire circumstances, not just what has been posted online."

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