Viral video of arrest in Brooklyn raises concerns over police brutality

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CANARSIE, Brooklyn — A video has gone viral after a group of police officers were seen surrounding a young man during an arrest in Brooklyn Wednesday evening.

Video posted on Twitter shows a man being approached by a plainclothes officer. As the man kept questioning his wrongdoings, several uniformed and plainclothes officers arrived at the scene and surrounded him. The video appears to show him on the ground and multiple officers over the man, who can be heard screaming for help.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the video “painful to watch.”

“We still need to get all the facts about this case and a full investigation is underway, but I don’t like what I saw,” he tweeted. “It doesn’t reflect what we’re building in New York City.”

The woman who posted the video on Twitter called the officers’ actions “unnecessary.”

Officers initially responded after a ShotSpotter, or gunshot-detection system, determined shots may have been fired in the area, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

A plainclothes officer was the first on scene, and located two men apparently smoking marijuana in the vicinity of Glenwood Road and East 100th Street, police officials confirmed earlier Thursday.

One of the men fled when the officer identified himself as law enforcement, which led to a short foot pursuit, according to police.

Officers caught up to the man, and at one point during the arrest one was seen on video apparently standing on the man’s ankle, Shea acknowledged, adding that the man was later found to have abrasions to his knee.

The man, identified by police as 20-year-old Fitzroy Gayle, resisted arrest by flailing his arms and faces several charges, including unlawful possession of marijuana and resisting arrest, police said.

Twitter users reacted to the videos, calling out police brutality against black people. Others argued that people should comply when approached by officers.

The Crisis Action Center is hosting a rally against police brutality in front of the 69th Precinct in Brooklyn Thursday at 4 p.m.

Rally organizers demand the officers involved in the incident be held responsible for assaulting the man, and are calling for officers to be properly trained and understand community policing.

They are also calling for Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to open up a full investigation in the incident.

“Every officer needs to be held accountable,” Rev. Kevin McCall, head of the Crisis Action Center, told PIX11.

Shea said a police investigation into the arrest will be conducted.

Warning: Video and tweets contain profanity and graphic content.

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