BP Adams calls for subway slugger cop to be placed on desk duty

October 28, 2019 Noah Goldberg
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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for the officer captured on camera punching multiple teens during a chaotic subway platform brawl last week to be placed on modified duty, pending an investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

The fracas in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday began when a group of teenage boys chased a young girl into the Jay Street-Metrotech subway station, Adams said. Someone in the group sprayed mace into the air. The borough president called the police response to the incident “picture-perfect,” except for the actions of one officer.

“The one officer, I question his first punch. And if you look deeper in the video, he was even involved in the initial melee when other officers were attempting to subdue people. He was swinging at the beginning of the confrontation,” Adams said at a press conference outside the station on Monday. “He took a chaotic situation that police had under control and he almost turned it into a riot situation.”

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Police responded to reports of a brawl between two groups of teenagers that spilled onto the platform at Jay Street, according to cops. Several of the people involved in the brawl resisted arrest, and one punched an officer, police said.

“Publicly available video does not show the entirety of the incident, and the department is conducting a review. There is no change of duty status at this time,” said police spokesperson Annette Shelton in a statement to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Adams disagreed. “That officer should be placed on modified assignment immediately,” he said.

Borough President Eric Adams speaks at a press conference outside the Jay Street-Metrotech station. Eagle photo by Noah Goldberg

Several friends of the 15-year-old boy — Benjamin Marshall — who was punched by the officer said that he was not involved in the initial brawl and was targeted by the officer for no reason. Marshall, according to his friends, was the boy in the video in a white hooded sweatshirt. He was the second individual punched by the police officer, whose name has not been released.

Sebastien Antoine, a friend of Marshall’s who was across the platform when the fight broke out, said the 15-year-old was emotionally affected by the incident.

“He tried to walk away from the altercation that had nothing to do with him. For him to get assaulted like that, that’s unjust,” Antoine said. “All he tried to do was walk away.”

Adams stressed the importance of de-escalation by officers. “Each time [the unnamed police officer] made contact with people, he escalated the situation,” Adams said.

Marshall was originally supposed to attend the press conference held outside the Jay Street-Metrotech station on Monday afternoon, but he did not show up.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is looking into the video, which DA Eric Gonzalez has reviewed, a spokesperson confirmed.

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