Assemblyman Dov Hikind will be holding a press conference Monday morning, following the release of security tapes from a Crown Heights youth center that shows two police officers repeatedly beating a 21 year old student who had been spending the night at the facility.
“Based on what I have seen I am in absolute shock that something like this happened and it obviously requires a very serious investigation,” Hikind told VIN News last night, after viewing the footage which was obtained from the ALIYA Institute’s security cameras.
The press conference will take place at 11:30 AM this morning at United Lubavitcher Yeshiva, 570 Crown Street, at the corner of Albany Avenue in Crown Heights.
According to Barry Sugar of the Jewish Leadership Council in Crown Heights, on Oct 8 2012, police were called to the scene by an unidentified individual who entered the center in the early morning hours and asked the student, Ehud Halevi, to leave the premises, despite Halevi’s assurances that he had permission to spend the night at the facility.
Sugar told VIN News that many students at the ALIYA Institute have keys to the East New York Avenue facility.
“The video, which begins at 4:03 AM on Shemini Atzeres shows the NYPD officers entering the room, waking up Ehud and demanding that he leave,” said Sugar.
“Confused and disoriented, Ehud tells the cops that he has permission to be there. The cops do not listen to him or attempt to verify his right to be there and, instead, move to arrest him.”
The footage shows Halevi backing away from the two officers as they approach him with handcuffs and a violent confrontation ensues for approximately two minutes with the officers beating Halevi repeatedly first with their fists, and then with a nightstick, as Halevi covers his head with his arms in order to protect himself.
While the video does show ten additional police officers arriving on scene to assist the officers it does not appear to show Halevi fighting back against the officers in any way.
Halevi was held on Rikers Island for four days and charged with nine counts of criminal activity which included assaulting and injuring an officer.
VIN News has confirmed that the NYPD has seen the security footage. The NYPD told VIN News they hope to have a response to the video shortly.
Hikind, who confirmed that Halevi had permission to spend the night at the ALIYA Institute, called the actions of the two officers horrifying and is planning on holding a press conference later today.
“Those two officers behaved like animals,” said Hikind. “Watching it made me and everyone who watched it with me sick. It wasn’t a question of whether or not he had permission to be there, which he did, how can two police officers who are sworn to uphold the law, break the law like that?
"I have been close with the NYPD for years and there are so many fine officers but clearly these are two bad apples. What I saw on that video was beyond comprehension and we will be calling for an investigation into this matter.”
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