The NYPD placed a Bed-Stuy police officer on modified duty Friday after a video surfaced showing him stepping on a man’s head and pointing a gun at his face while placing him under arrest, officials and police sources said.
The video shows two officers from the 81st Precinct subduing a man identified by activists as Jahmil-El Cuffee, 32, in the driveway of a Bed-Stuy home before taking him to the ground while he appears to be resisting arrest. The officers arrested him for smoking a joint, police sources said.
While his partner continues to subdue Cuffee, the video shows the unidentified officer pull out what appears to be a firearm, briefly pointing it at the man’s face before then putting it away as onlookers yelled at the two policemen.
The same officer then walks away from the situation before returning, lifting his leg and stepping down in the vicinity of Cuffee’s head as another officer walks in front of the camera amidst screams from onlookers.
Later, the man recording the video says, “I just watched them stomp on that man’s head. And you had him on the floor already.”
The arrest comes amid growing criticism of the NYPD stemming from the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after being wrestled to the ground and put into what appeared to be a chokehold. That incident was also recorded on cellphone video.
Another video surfaced days later showing an officer using a chokehold on a man and punching him in an East Harlem subway station. That officer remains on active duty, police said.
Thanks to Stoneyg Loc for taking this video and making sure the cops knew they were on camera. The officer was ready to kill a man for smoking a joint. A tragedy was avoided because he had the courage to record the cops and hold them accountable for their use of excessive force.