Another week, another incident of police brutality caught on camera in New York City. A new clip of surveillance tape shows two police officers wrangling an unarmed teen in Bed-Stuy by smashing him in the teeth with a gun. The worst part: The teen was holding his hands up in surrender when the beating start.
The video, obtained by DNA Info, shows two cops in hot persuit of 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble on August 29. According to court records, the officers approached Tribble when they spotted him looking into the window of a parked car. He then threw away a small bag and ran away.
The police officers gave chase. Tribble then apparently slowed down and stopped, giving himself up the police. In the video, you can see Tribble appearing to surrender to the police before an officer rushes up and takes a swing at the teen. Tribble ducked the blow, raises his hands, and then another officer hits him in the face with a gun. Tribble later appeared in court, charged with possession of 17 small bags of marijuana, with cracked teeth and a bruised face.
Police Commissioner William Bratton has seen the video, DNA Info reports, and Afanador has been suspended without pay. Isaac was stripped of his badge and gun. But here’s the kicker: Both of the officers, now under criminal investigation, had been accused of excessive force before.
In the wake of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and the myriad other smaller, unfortunate run-ins between law enforcement and citizens, it’s become clear that excessive force from police officers is an epidemic, not just a series of isolated incidents. In a speech last week, Bill Bratton promised to “aggressively seek to get those out of the department who should not be here. The brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent.” That’s a step in the right direction, but videos like this show that it’s not simply a few bad apples spoiling the barrel: the problem is the culture of law enforcement now in place.