A viral video recorded during what should have been a routine traffic stop in Harlem shows a20-year-old Black man get repeatedly punched in the head by police as he was pinned to the concrete ground.
Spectrum NY1 reports Kevin Diaby was pulled over in Central Harlem for failing to use a turn signal.
During the stop, police determined Kevin did not have a license, the car was uninsured, and the registration had expired, New York Police spokesperson Sophia Mason told the news outlet.
The car was then placed into NYPD custody and was scheduled to be towed.
At this point, Kevin and his sister Fatou, who was a passenger in the car, were outside the vehicle, where a crowd of onlookers had formed.
Then Fatou tried to reach into the car to grab her phone charger, but she was shoved away by a police officer. Police also claimed Kevin tried to rush past officers and reach into the vehicle, but a witness going by the name of Monica told the Daily Mail their story isn’t true.
“The officer was the aggressor,” said Monica, who recorded the video on her phone. “The officers were very aggressive, they were using excessive force unnecessarily.”
Kevin remembers being pushed by an officer several times before he was eventually forced to the ground.
"I kept walking, he kept pushing me. Then another cop came from behind me and then before you know, I was on the ground. He kept punching me in my head," he told NY1.
"The cop tried to tell me that just because the people in the community was being rowdy it was messing up my chances of going home free," Kevin added.
Fatou said the treatment of her brother was unnecessary since he was unarmed and non-violent during the arrest.
"They didn’t handcuff him, it was more than one police. He was no harm, he had no weapons on him, no nothing, and they just beat him for no reason," Fatou told NY1.
In the video, onlookers watched as one NYPD officer holds Kevin down while another repeatedly punches him in the head. On the ground beneath him, a pool of blood began to form.
Police say Kevin was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration as well as violations for operating a motor vehicle without a license, registration and insurance and failure to signal.
His sister was also arrested and charged with obstructing governmental administration.
Once the siblings were taken to central bookings, their charges were dropped. Kevin was taken to Harlem Hospital where he says he received 12 stitches.
"I had blood dripping all over my face," Kevin told NY1.
Kevin’s family and friends have already spoken with activists in the area, including Iesha Sekou of Street Corner Resources and Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter Greater New York.
The NYPD said the incident is under internal review.
Kevin’s family said they plan to pursue legal action against the police.
Video from the incident can be seen here.
(Photo: Spectrum NY1)