NYPD Commissioner: Sometimes a Difficult Arrest ‘Doesn’t Look Pretty’

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill responds to controversial video of an officer with his knee on a man’s head and gun drawn by explaining some arrests don’t “look pretty.”

What We Know:

  • A bystander leaked a video last week showing an NYPD cop kneeling on a man’s head with his gun drawn while the man being arrested remains quiet and still while another suspect is thrown to the ground by three officers behind. The video instantly attracted media attention for the cop’s use of excessive force on the suspect and aggressive treatment of bystanders.

  • The incident took place Friday, July 5 near Prospect Heights in Brooklyn; the man in the foreground of the video, Carey Cruise, is facing charges of criminal possession of a knife, stolen property and petty larceny. The second man in the video, Edwin Barreto, was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, menacing, obstructing government administration and assaulting a police officer.
  • The suspects allegedly resisted arrest by throwing cash into the air to attract a crowd and create enough chaos to avoid police and put up a physical struggle. O’Neill responded to the event explaining the cop was reacting out of self-defense as the suspects were physically resisting arrest. “If somebody does not want to be arrested, sometimes it doesn’t look pretty,” O’Neill said.

Many have taken to Twitter expressing frustration with O’Neill’s defense of his aggressive cop, feeling his comments simply serve to condone and justify excessive use of police force.