Video shot by a bystander on Thursday appeared to show a New York City police officer beating a young man over the head with a nightstick, after the civilian allegedly tried to avoid paying the fare in a Brooklyn subway station.
The footage, obtained by New York telelvision station PIX11, showed a struggle between the cop and the young man, Donovan Lawson, 20, already in progress.
Seconds into the video, the unidentified police officer smashed his nightstick over Lawson’s head.
A loud crack could be heard as the stick hit Lawson’s skull, prompting screams from onlookers in the station.
Covering his head, Lawson then stumbled away from the officer, who proceeded to grab him by the collar and push him out of the station. In the final moments of the video, blood was visible streaming down the young man’s face.
The man who shot the footage told PIX11 that the officer also sprayed the young man with pepper spray before the video was recorded.
An NYPD official told the television station that officer in the tape was being reviewed by the Internal Affairs unit.
PIX11 also reported that Lawson had no prior arrests and now faces charges of fare beating, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disrupting government administration.
Watch the video (warning, graphic content):