NYPD officers broke up a group of men in Brooklyn for not social distancing and violently arrested a man filming the event — even though most of the cops, including the precinct’s commanding officer, weren’t wearing masks, video shows.
The encounter unfolded just before 7 p.m. on April 28 near the corner of Sutter Avenue and Hemlock Street in East New York, when cops on patrol said they spotted a “disorderly group … engaging in aggressive and confrontational behavior,” according to an NYPD spokeswoman.
She could not say what kind of aggressive and confrontational behavior she was referring to.
The cops called for backup to “disperse the group” but, the spokeswoman said, Jeremiah Arroyo “squared off and attempted to fight the officers” and was arrested.
Video obtained by The Post appears to show the aftermath of the arrest, with onlookers yelling at officers, “you guys got no masks on.”
“Most of them didn’t have no masks on or gloves on and they were all in people’s faces,” Adegoke Atunbi told The Post.
Atunbi, who runs a medical supply company in St. Albans, Queens, said he spotted the fracas after delivering medical supplies to a client nearby and whipped out his phone as witnesses questioned the cops for not wearing masks.
“If you watch the video, you see officers shrug their shoulders. Are you telling me you are above the law?” the 31-year-old Queens man said.
“It’s just craziness. If we have to obey the law, they have to obey the law. We are not the enemy, COVID-19 is the enemy.”
The video shows Atunbi calling on the cops to get their sergeant, not realizing the commanding officer of the 75th Precinct, Deputy Inspector John Mastronardi, was there — without a mask.
“No one wants to touch you,” one of the maskless cops can be heard saying before another plainclothes officers, also without a mask, starts swinging.
Officers then converged on the man, taking him down as about a half-dozen cops, most not wearing masks, form a line on the sidewalk, telling the onlookers to stay back, the video shows.
Atunbi continues to film as two officers — one with a collapsible baton in hand — push him back, the video shows.
“Back up, move out,” cops can be heard saying as one grabs Atunbi and he drops his phone.
Atunbi claims the unknown plainclothes cop punched him and kicked him on the back while he was on the ground.
Cops arrested Atunbi and gave him a desk appearance ticket for disorderly conduct.
“I didn’t know pulling out a camera and recording police was disorderly,” he said.
Arroyo, who can be seen in cuffs at the start of the video, was charged with menacing a police officer, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, according to the NYPD.
The other man, whose name was not provided, was issued a summons for disorderly conduct and violating the mayor’s coronavirus executive orders.
An NYPD spokeswoman did not respond to questions about Atunbi allegations or why the officers were not wearing masks.
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