NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A shocking video shows the moment a police officer approaches a teenage boy, pins him against the wall to pat him down and then bodyslams him to the ground – twice.
Sean Pagan, 19, was waiting for a subway train at 45th Street in Brooklyn, New York at 8.30 p.m. last Thursday when he was confronted by the cop, who accused him of not paying his fare.
The unnamed officer then held Pagan against the wall as he felt his pockets, but when the teenager began to fidget, he wrapped his arms around him and threw him to the floor, falling on top.
In the ruckus, Pagan ripped an advertisement poster from the wall and it clattered on top of them. As he tried to stand, the officer picked him up again before lifting him and throwing him down once more.
He then held the teenager in a headlock before putting hand cuffs on him and leading him away.
Galarza and Pagan both believe the officer used unnecessary force before arresting the teenager.
‘I was just in shock he really did that,’ Pagan told the New York Daily News. ‘I’m sure there are other kids who got the same treatment or worse treatment that wasn’t recorded.’
Bodyslam: As the teenager tries to get up, the officer picks him up again, this time far off the ground
Galarza, speaking at a press conference about the confrontation, said it was just another example of the police’s mistreatment of the predominantly Hispanic and Asian residents in the area.
‘These are young people of colour who are victimised many times, and this kind of excessive force, sometimes it’s captured, sometimes not,’ Galarza said, the New York Times reported.
‘There was an arrest of a young man, but not of the officer who did the groping, and who did the choking.’
He said he had seen many instances of police violence against youngsters in the community, so he instinctively pulled out his phone to film when he saw the officer approaching Pagan.
Pagan, who is Hispanic and said he has been frisked by police around five times before, said other officers at the police station joked about the bodyslamming.
When he told his mother about the story, even she did not believe it – until she saw the video.
‘It would’ve been his word over mine,’ he said. ‘He would’ve said I was resisting and going crazy. It would’ve been brushed under the rug.’
He claimed the officer approached him for no reason, but a New York Police Department spokesperson said he was seen entering the station without paying.
When the officer asked for his identification, he refused, and he was charged with theft of services and resisting arrest, the spokesperson said.
Another person speaking Spanish on the recording also indicates Pagan jumped a turnstile.
Police added that the teenager has been arrested nine times before the incident and again since – for criminal mischief, creating graffiti, intent to damage property and telephone harassment.
They added he had been stopped because he dodged his fare, not as part of a stop-and-frisk exercise.
Pagan’s lawyer, David Rankin, told the Times that they had not yet decided if they were going to pursue any action against the police officer.
‘There was no reason for this officer to do this invasive of a search at all,’ he added. ‘From that overreaching, even just a twitch results in two body slams to the floor.’