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A disturbing video showing a woman being punched by a New York Police Department officer has gone viral, with many calling for disciplinary action as the woman is still in jail on assault charges.

The incident took place on Tuesday evening (August 30th) as officers were arresting a 22-year-old named Elvin James on West 136th Street near Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem. He was being brought in as a suspect in a case of attempted murder. The video, which was first shared on TikTok, shows the officers heading down the sidewalk with James but nothing showing an escalation of tensions before then. A young woman by the name of Tamani Crum runs up to the officers and pushes one of them. At that point, NYPD officer Kendo Kinsey punches Crum, sending her flying backward and smacking her head onto the pavement.

The video then captures onlookers yelling at the officer, with one person shouting “Why would you do that?!” Officers then picked the 19-year-old hairdresser up from the pavement and put her in handcuffs. Two other women were arrested at the scene, one for allegedly spitting at an officer. Crum has been detained and was expected to appear before a judge on Wednesday to answer to charges of assault, obstruction, and resisting arrest.

Her family and community activists expressed their outrage over the incident to the press, demanding that he be held accountable. “The question is: When did it become a tactic for crowd control to knock somebody else unconscious?”, said National Action Network spokesperson Rev. Stephan Marshall. “He cold knocked her out, he’s no better than the people whose knocking out people in the streets,” said Julia Crum, the young woman’s grandmother. She and others spoke at a press conference held at the National Action Network headquarters.

The Detectives Endowment Association has dismissed the outcry for accountability, with its president saying to press inquiries that “when you assault a New York City Detective in order to interfere with an arrest of a man armed with a gun there are repercussions.” Officer Kinsey isn’t a stranger to civilian complaints – according to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, he had six filed against him within the past decade. However, none of these claims were substantiated upon review. The DEA has suggested they may file a civil lawsuit against Crum.

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