Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in Brooklyn on Friday night to protest police violence after a teen was seen in a viral video being punched by an officer in a subway brawl.
Video of the incident posted on social media showed an altercation breaking out on a subway platform in Brooklyn late last week, with an officer seen punching 15-year-old Benjamin Marshall.
Marshall and his parents say he was not part of the fight and was instead looking for his backpack on the platform when he was punched.
Protesters responded by swarming streets in Brooklyn on Friday night, with protesters heard chanting “hands off black kids, NYPD” as they marched.
— Jonathan Stamper-Halpin️ (@Joda308) November 1, 2019
— Alanna Verena (@asoszyn) November 1, 2019
— Ash J (@AshAgony) November 1, 2019
Hundreds of ppl are marching through the streets in Brooklyn right now against the NYPD’s treatment of black kids on the subway pic.twitter.com/CendPEwaWO
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) November 1, 2019
Brooklyn Defender Services, which provides legal defense to those who need it, released the names of several of the officers involved in the incident last Friday as well as another incident in which a different teenager was tackled in a subway car.
“We believe this information should be made public and that the names and histories of misconduct of all officers involved in these incidents should be made public,” the group said.
“These officers who have brutally attacked these young people and endangered dozens more must be held accountable. They, along with the other officers involved, whose names we do not know at this time, should not be policing our streets,” the statement said.
Officers were dispatched to the Jay Street subway stop last week after getting calls of two large groups fighting.
Marshall was charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct, according to NBC New York.
Another teenager was also punched, while five teenagers in total were arrested, the outlet reported.
I need to know the names and badge numbers of all of these officers who are punching these young Black boys in the face. They are teenagers.
None of this brutality is OK.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 27, 2019
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams have all called for an investigation into the incident.
“The officer who punched the two teens should immediately be placed on modified assignment until a complete investigation can be carried out. At best, his actions were off base and reflect poorly on the men and women of the NYPD,” Adams told NBC New York.
“I am also concerned about what led up to this melee. Reports indicate a group of teens were assaulting a young lady, which led to a teen spraying mace throughout the station. We can’t have innocent people placed in harm’s way from police or civilians.”