Two videos emerged this week capturing officers of the New York City Police Department beating two reportedly unarmed teenagers suspected of marijuana possession.
The first recording is of surveillance footage showing officers swiftly approaching 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble after he was seen tossing a black bag onto a Brooklyn street. The video appears to show Tribble then slowing down, attempting to surrender.
Tribble puts his hands in the air, but the officers ignore him and begin pistol-whipping him in the face. He reportedly suffered cracked teeth, bruises, and bleeding in the mouth.
One officer has been suspended without pay; another placed on modified duty.
The second video, reported today, just one day after Tribble’s incident was uncovered, shows 17-year-old Marcel Hamer lying on the street while being placed under arrest. Hamer can be heard screaming, “Mister! It was just a cigarette!”
The arresting officer proceeds to punch Hamer in the face, who is immediately knocked out and appears lifeless on the street.
“Yeah, get it on film,” the officer can be heard taunting onlookers.
Hamer’s family says he now has brain damage.
Statistics to keep in mind as you sit there bewildered and disgusted: New York City is home to 30,000-50,000 marijuana arrests a year, despite repeated calls to decriminalize low-level pot possession. Studies have shown time and time again, blacks are no more likely to smoke weed than whites. But data from 2002 to 2012 indicate an overwhelming 87 percent of those arrested for possession are either black or Latino youths.