Police Shown Punching Man Found Sleeping at Youth Center

The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau and the Brooklyn district attorney's office are investigating

Monday, Oct 15, 2012  |  Updated 8:39 PM EDT
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Two NYPD officers are in hot water for a violent and controversial arrest of a homeless man that was caught on video in Brooklyn. Tracie Strahan reports.

NBC New York

Two NYPD officers are in hot water for a violent and controversial arrest of a homeless man that was caught on video in Brooklyn. Tracie Strahan reports.

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Video: Police Subdue Sleeping Man

The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating after security footage surfaced showing officers pepper-spraying and using force to subdue a man who was sleeping in the lounge of a Crown Heights youth center last Monday.
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A police officer has been placed on modified duty after he was shown on security footage using force to subdue a man who was sleeping in the lounge of a Crown Heights youth center.

Police say officers responded to a report of a dispute inside the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults, a temple and outreach center, on Oct. 8 and encountered a man who refused to leave the women's portion of the center.

The man, identified as 21-year-old Ehud Haleavy, told officers he had permission to be there, according to CrownHeights.info, which cites a source who supported that contention and said he had been living there for a month.

The video shows a shirtless Haleavy talking to and gesturing at the officers as he apparently tries to explain his presence in the lounge. When the officers attempt to place him in handcuffs, he resists and the officers use force to subdue him. The video shows the officers punching Haleavy repeatedly as he is forced onto a couch and continues to fight back.

The physical encounter continues for roughly three minutes before at least six other police officers arrive and force Haleavy to the ground, where they place him in handcuffs and arrest him.

Haleavy was charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, harassment and unlawful possession of marijuana. Information on an attorney wasn't immediately available.

The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating and the male officer in the video has been placed on modified duty, the NYPD said Monday.

The matter was also referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the NYPD said.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office said prosecutors are also investigating the incident.

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