A Brooklyn teenager was allegedly knocked out by a New York City police officer for smoking a cigarette, the Brooklyn Paper reports.
Video footage captured on a cellphone shows the plainclothes officer punching Marcel Hammer, even as he lay on the ground in a gutter trying to protect his face, saying, “It’s just a cigarette, sir.”
“Do you wanna get f—ked up?” the officer asked the teen.
“Yeah, get it on film,” the officer says to Marcel’s friends.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, Marcel was walking home from school with his friends when a police officer emerged from a police van and said Marcel was smoking marijuana. The friends started to run, but Marcel eventually stopped. When the officer caught up with him, he knocked Marcel to the ground, according to the news site.
The actual blow that rendered the teen unconscious is not fully visible in the footage, but Marcel’s friends can be heard protesting in the background. Soon, according to the paper, another undercover cop comes on the scene, helping the first officer handcuff the seemingly unconscious teen.
The incident, which occurred on June 4, according to the Brooklyn Paper, is reportedly being investigated by the New York City Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
According to the boy’s family, the 17-year-old has suffered memory loss, dizziness and headaches ever since the assault. “He is always complaining of headaches, and he cannot remember things,” his mother, Mary Hamer, said. “He used to be pretty sharp, and now I am helping him.”
When Marcel was taken away by paramedics immediately after the incident, he complained about blurred vision, a headache and some immobility in his left arm, according to medical records, the Brooklyn Paper notes.
“It is pervasive now, throughout the department,” one of the family’s attorneys, William Thompson, a former state Supreme Court judge, said of the officer’s behavior, according to the news site. “It is indicative of an attitude in the Police Department that is, ‘Them against us. Let’s do whatever we want.’”
Marcel’s family wants the officer responsible to be prosecuted. “If what happened on this video was reversed and Marcel assaulted this officer in the same exact manner, Marcel would be prosecuted, and this officer should be prosecuted for what he did,” James Ross, another attorney who is handling the civil suit on behalf of the family, said.
The teen was charged in the incident for disorderly conduct and pleaded guilty to a violation, according to the paper.
Read more at the Brooklyn Paper.