The incident took place in July 2008, when London and his partner were on patrol and about to lock up the Hostas Houses apartment building. Harvin entered without a key. His mother lives at the apartment, and from the video, Harvin seems to be rushing to get inside before the door was locked, and ignored officers' requests for identification.
In the lobby, when London tried to prevent Harvin from entering the elevator, Harvin shoved the officer, who responded by beating him with a police baton - -repeatedly, the video shows.
The video was submitted in court yesterday, the second day of the police-brutality trial. And Harvin, an Iraq War veteran, has filed a $35 million federal civil-rights suit against London, who may face up to seven years in prison, and the NYPD.
Defense lawyers point to the video's lack of audio, saying that Harvin threatened London. London's partner, Mohammed Khan, who was present, testified that Harvin shouted "I'll f--- you up! I'll kill you, mother------!" and "I came from Iraq!" while London was beating him, to which London replied "I was in the Air Force too!" and continued to strike.
Harvin was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. London's reports of the incident alleged that Harvin had punched and kicked the two officers. However, after this video, which contradicts these allegations, was shown in court on Friday the charges were dropped.
"To justify his conduct, officer London makes up a story about how Harvin was attacking him," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney David Drucker told jurors in his opening statement. Through the video, he said, "You'll see exactly what happened."
Harvin's lawyer Stephen Worth responded: "[The video] is not going to give you all the context, I submit, that you need. This is not an assault. This is the use of necessary force in order to make an arrest."
According to Adam M. Orlow, Harvin's lawyer, Harvin returned from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder and the encounter depicted in the video has exacerbated his erratic behavior. He was not present at the trial and Orlow has not heard from him in two months.