A contingent of activists from Cop Watch and the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee were joined by members of the community last Friday in Harlem to protest the police assault of Saykou George.
“How do you spell ‘terrorists’?” the crowd chanted.
“NYPD, NYPD,” was the response.
They were outraged by the attack of an undercover police officer on George at 131st Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard last Thursday. “This is where the incident occurred,” said one of the participants at the rally. “It was very much like the encounter between the police and Eric Garner.”
A video of the incident, which has gone viral on the Internet, shows two officers, a male and a female, approaching George, 30, and demanding identification. For some reason they are not satisfied and question him further. He refuses and demands they return his identification.
NYPD Cop Picks a Fight with a Man on the Street.
The Free Thought Project
As they attempt to arrest him, George resists, pushing away from them. The male officer hits him several times in the face, knocking him back up against a car. George continues to move away, avoiding some of the punches.
The female officer calls for backup and several uniformed officers arrive and pin George to the pavement, their knees on his back, much like the apprehension of Garner.
Saturday, the parents of George, appearing at the National Action Network, accompanied by George’s attorney, Anthony Mayol, explained what happened.
“I thank God that my son is here today, because it could have went in a different way,” said George’s mother, Tracy Lee. “He did everything he can to obey the law. It still turned out it could have been a disaster.”
Mayol beseeched Police Commissioner William Bratton to give his officers better training. “Improve their training, right their community relationships, their understanding of things,” he said.
According to the police, George was questioned and encountered when he was said to have a knife clipped to his pants. The officer, said Bratton, did nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, George is in custody and the police investigation of the incident continues.
Apparently, the cellphone video was shot by George’s friend Jun Ice, and a voice behind the video is warning the police that he is documenting the fight.