Brooklyn, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) is investigating the circumstances of an arrest behind a viral video filmed in Canarsie on Wednesday (video below).
NYPD Sergeant Jessica McRorie told Blue Lives Matter in an email that the incident occurred at about 7 p.m. on March 4 as anti-crime officers from the 69th Precinct were patrolling the 100% Playground located on Glenwood Road between East 100th Street and East 101 Street in Brooklyn.
Sgt. McRorie said that officers saw two men smoking a lit marijuana cigarette inside the park and approached them.
The suspects fled and the officers pursued them, WABC reported.
Police caught up with the men eventually.
Sgt. McRorie said officers issued a summons to one of the men and arrested the other.
The arrest was captured on a bystander’s cell phone and the video quickly went viral.
The video showed a plain clothes officer detaining a man in Champion sweatpants, later identified as 20-year-old Fitzroy Gayle, WPIX reported.
Although the suspect had not been put in handcuffs, the officer appeared to be trying to detain him up against a fence while he waited for backup.
The video showed Gayle argued with the officer the entire time.
“Yo, I didn’t commit any crimes,” he insisted.
“Stop moving,” the officer said in the video.
“Yo bro, stay still,” the woman filming the interaction chipped in.
The suspect continued trying to move away from the officer and the officer eventually took his Taser out of its holster, although he never pointed it at Gayle, the video showed.
“What did I do? What did I do?” the suspect asked over and over again.
“I did not do anything. He saw me in the park and he started following me,” Gayle told the woman who was filming in what appeared to be an effort to build support.
The video showed Gayle argued with the officer and got close up in his face.
“Will you answer my question? Look at me in my eyes. I’m talking to you,” he told the officer in the video.
The video showed the officer remained calm and continued to hold the man in place with one hand.
“Tell me what crime did I commit. Tell me!” Gayle demanded as the video showed he became more agitated.
The officer kept the Taser in his hand but it was pointed at the ground.
“Stop moving,” the officer ordered the man for a second time.
“Are you about to shoot me with that Taser?” Gayle asked. “Cuz I don’t have a weapon on me. What crime did I commit?
That was when backup arrived, and the video showed about a half-dozen officers ran over to assist the first officer with the non-compliant suspect.
An officer went to take the suspect into custody and he immediately began resisting arrest, the video showed.
The video showed the suspect screaming and fighting as more officers joined the melee to help get him into custody.
Six officers were struggling to get Gayle prone on the pavement when the video ended.
Gayle was charged with resisting arrest, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, and second degree unlawful possession of marijuana, NYPD Detective Denise Moroney told Blue Lives Matter.
The Crisis Action Center called the incident a case of “police brutality” and organized a protest in front of the 69th Precinct on Thursday afternoon, WPIX reported.
The organization has called for Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to investigate the incident.
“Every officer needs to be held accountable,” Crisis Action Center Director Rev. Kevin McCall told WPIX.
Sgt. McRorie told Blue Lives Matter that NYPD was conducting an internal review of the incident.
Watch video of the arrest here below: