Video of NYPD punch in Harlem sparks strong reactions from officers, activists

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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New video going viral shows an NYPD officer punching a woman in the face after she tried to interfere with an arrest in Harlem, NYC. Dan Krauth has the story.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- New video going viral shows an NYPD officer punching a woman in the face after she tried to interfere with an arrest in Harlem -- and the encounter is sparking strong reactions from community activists and officers.

While the video -- now racking up tens of thousands of views on social media -- clearly shows an officer punching the woman, it doesn't paint a clear picture of the moments leading up to the punch.

But some community activists say they have seen enough.

The video starts with police arresting 22-year-old Elvin James on West 136th Street on Tuesday evening.

He was wanted in connection to an attempted murder and police say he was carrying an illegal ghost gun at the time of the arrest.

"You know, it's nerve-wracking situation for the detective in that this person had a loaded firearm on him," Paul DiGiacomo, President of the Detectives Endowment Association, said. "And this individual tried to obstruct and distract the detective from the person that was in possession of the illegal loaded firearm."

While officers restrained James, 19-year-old Tamani Crum approached. The video doesn't show how things escalated, but Crum can be seen shoving Officer Kendo Kinsey before he knocked her on her back.

Officers then picked her up and arrested her. Crum was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

"He shouldn't have never, never put his hands on her or any female, he's wrong, he's wrong," Crum's grandmother said.

She joined the National Action Network on Wednesday to call out the officer's actions and demand accountability.

"He cold knocked her out, he's no better than the people whose knocking out people in the streets," she said.

Activists say Kinsey went too far and that he should be better trained to handle a situation like this one.

"You mean to tell me a grown man more than twice her size in weight could not handle a 19-year-old female in a different manner?" said Crum's attorney, Jaime Santana Jr.

"When did it become a tactic for crowd control to knock somebody else unconscious?" said Rev. Stephan Marshall with the National Action Network.

The Detectives Endowment Association says it's easy to judge, but in the heat of the moment, officers are thinking about the safety of everyone around.

"This could have been a travesty where members of the NYPD and civilians could have been shot by this individual, if he didn't take the action, he took," DiGiacomo said.

Another woman was also arrested on a charge of assaulting an officer.

A 26-year-old woman was issued a criminal court summons for allegedly spitting at an officer.

Crum's family said they are considering filing a lawsuit.

The Detectives Endowment Association says they are also considering filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of Kinsey.

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