Calls for accountability have grown as a video is making the rounds of what appears to be an NYPD officer punching a 19-year woman and knocking her to the ground while making an arrest outside a building in Harlem in New York. CBS News notes officers were attempting to apprehend 22-year-old Elvin James, who was wanted in connection to attempted murder. At the time of the arrest, police said he was carrying an illegal ghost gun.
While the officers restrained James, 19-year-old Tamani Crum, an acquaintance, appeared on the scene and got into a shoving match with the officer. Then, Officer Kendo Kinsey punched Crum and sent her back, falling onto the concrete. Officers then picked her up and arrested her. Crum was charged with assault and resisting arrest.
Crum pleaded not guilty to obstructing governmental administration, and the District Attorney decided not to charge her with assaulting an officer or resisting arrest. Activists have weighed in on the situation and say Kinsley should have better training to handle a situation like this.
“You mean to tell me a grown man more than twice her size in weight could not handle a 19-year-old female in a different manner?” said Crum’s attorney, Jaime Santana Jr.
“When did it become a tactic for crowd control to knock somebody else unconscious?” said Rev. Stephan Marshall with the National Action Network.
President of the Detectives Endowment Association Paul DiGiacomo has tried to counter the argument and say the situation was tense, considering a firearm was present in the area.
“You know, it’s nerve-wracking situation for the detective in that this person had a loaded firearm on him,” Paul DiGiacomo, President of the Detectives Endowment Association, said. “And this individual tried to obstruct and distract the detective from the person that was in possession of the illegally loaded firearm.”