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Video Released of Woman Punched by Detective in Harlem – NBC New York

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The NYPD has released body camera footage of an officer’s encounter with a woman in Harlem amid questions over cellphone video that showed a cop’s blow knock a 19-year-old woman to the sidewalk. Tensions escalated Wednesday. Now the Manhattan district attorney’s response is fanning flames anew.

The altercation in question played out Tuesday as cops said officers were trying to arrest a man for attempted murder on West 136th Street near Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. Police said at least three people were arrested for trying to interfere in the arrest, including the 19-year-old woman, Tamani Crum, who is seen in the video going up to the officers and pushing a detective.

The video shows the detective respond with a right hook to Crum’s head. She is flung backward upon impact and ends up smacking her head on the sidewalk. Crum, a hairdresser, was initially arrested by the NYPD on multiple charges, including assaulting an officer. In an updated statement Thursday, the department said she had been charged with obstruction.

The NYPD launched an investigation after a jarring video showed a woman get punched by a police officer she had pushed.

It clarified its narrative further. Officers were “attempting to take an individual into custody when a struggle ensued and a crowd formed around the officers. The individual was carrying in his waistband an illegal, loaded semiautomatic Polymer 80 handgun, known as a ‘ghost gun.’ The NYPD officers removed yet another illegal firearm – and the person brazen enough to carry it in public – from the streets of our city,” the statement said.

It said the detective sought to fend off Crum with an “open hand” and that the woman remained conscious after her fall. Cops said she was taken to the hospital at her own request. Two other females were charged with obstruction as well.

“This incident, including the conduct of the officer who used force, is under ongoing review by our Internal Affairs Bureau’s Force Group. All police body-worn camera footage, as well as other video surveillance from the area and witness statements, are being gathered and reviewed,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “While the NYPD is committed to the safety of all New Yorkers, we are also committed to transparency. Therefore, I have expedited the release of the officers’ body-worn camera.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office said Thursday it would prosecute her on one count of second-degree obstruction of governmental administration, a misdemeanor.

Crum was released on her own recognizance after her arraignment Wednesday. The lack of a prosecutorial assault charge is likely a matter of law. Bringing such a charge requires proof that a defendant’s conduct led to physical injury. The district attorney’s office says its investigation into the case in its totality is ongoing. But the detectives’ union said it was appalled by the response.

Crum’s mother is far more appalled by the video. She says she can’t even bring herself to watch it, still livid over the bruises she claims are on her daughter’s body because of what happened.

“I get blown away to see this happen to my daughter, it’s so painful for a mother to see that,” Julia Crumb exclusively told NBC New York. “They are just violating these kids’ rights. He should never, never, never put his hands on her, or any female. He’s wrong.”

The Rev. Stephan Marshall of the National Action Network had another question

“The question is: When did it become a tactic for crowd control to knock somebody else unconscious?” he asked a crowd that gathered to rally outside the precinct.

The detective, Kendo Kinsey, had six complaints lodged against him over the past 10 years, according to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which investigates police misconduct allegations by citizens. None of the claims were substantiated.

An attorney for the Crum family, Jamie Santana Jr., alleges the behavior in this incident was unjustified.

“This has to stop, and we are seeking full accountability in this action,” the lawyer said.

The detectives’ union says it is considering a lawsuit too, against Crum.