Protests against excessive use of force by police officers has been one of the defining news topics of 2014, with protests in Ferguson, Missouri, still ebbing and flowing after police officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown in early August. More and more citizens are recording their interactions with police officers, but a video caught on surveillance cameras has surfaced of NYPD officers pistol whipping a teenager.
Kahreem Tribble, 16, attempted to flee from the two officers when they attempted to apprehend him for possession of marijuana. Kahreem was stopped with his hands held in the air, but police officers still punched the young man in the face and then whipped him across the face with a hand gun — the second action coming after Tribble had already been handcuffed, reported the New York Daily News.
Both officers, David Afanador, 33, and Tyrane Isaac, 36, pled not guilty in their trial before the Brooklyn Supreme Court. The two men have been NYPD officers for nine years. Afandador has been charged with felony assault and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon and official misconduct. Isaac has been slapped with only misdemeanor assault and a official misconduct citation, reported the New York Daily News.
Brookyln District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has been adamant that the incident qualifies for heavy punishment, as the video clearly illustrates what he says is a flagrant disregard citizen’s rights.
“The video speaks for itself, doesn’t it?… [They] hit a defenseless, unarmed young man in the mouth and attacked him while he tried to surrender.”
The lawyer defending the two police officers, however, maintains that the officers were justified in their actions, arguing that key information is left out in the video and that Tribble acted foolishly when he fled from the cops.
“There’s no context during the tape or after the tape. What was said?… He didn’t stop when the police asked him to stop. Right away, that raised the police officer’s apprehension.”
An NYPD cop has not been convicted for excessive brutality against a citizen since 1997, when Abner Louima pled guilty to sodomizing a civilian with a broomstick, said the New York Daily News. Nearby, the Staten Island Supreme Court is also hearing the case against officers who held Eric Garner in a chokehold that resulted in his death in July.
Worth said he was confident that the two police officers would win the trial, as it is not the first case with video evidence that has emerged in the last few years that did not end in a conviction.
“We’ve tried these cases in front of juries and we won these case in front of juries and I expect this to happen here as well.”
Do you think the NYPD officers were justified in pistol whipping the young teen Kahreem Tribble?
[Image via YouTube]