A police officer pointed his gun at a man who was filming him on June 3 in Staten Island, New York (video below).
Maleek Simmons, who says that he appears in the video and that his cousin was filming, posted the video on his Facebook page.
In the video, a police officer is seen holding a baseball bat and a young man's arm. Suddenly, a second officer appears, points his gun at the camera operator and tells the person filming to "get on the ground," but the cameraman refuses to do so. The cameraman walks backwards as the officer advances and curses. Eventually, the officer puts his gun back in his holster, and walks away.
Simmons told the Staten Island Advance that he was walking on the street with his cousin and a friend after playing baseball. Simmons said that he was the young man at the beginning of the video with the first officer and the baseball bat, and that his cousin was the one filming the police in public.
The plainclothes officers were confirmed to be members of the NYPD, but the department would not identify the public servants by name.
According to Simmons, the police had no reason to stop them.
The NYPD's office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said in a written statement that police responded to "911 calls reporting a large fight involving several males armed with baseball bats."
When the police arrived, they found people with bats and dispersed the group, according to the statement, but there was no mention of an officer pulling his gun and pointing it.
An unidentified local law enforcement source told the Staten Island Advance that a concerned resident saw about 12 men walking with baseball bats; when the officers arrived, all but three of the men fled.
The source said the police drew their guns because one man had his hand in his pocket and police didn't know if he was armed.
The officers ascertained that the men did not have any weapons, according to the source.
The video has gone viral with over 150,000 views, and generated many comments on Simmons' Facebook page:
That's crazy! I'm not even surprised! That's the sad part! I'm glad y'all ok.
I love the way dude with the camera handled his self!!
Making America great again?
They can't do anything, but the just us system do do everything to discourage and imprison us.
Black men do not have a chance for being protected let alone accepted in this country. We have no unity as a black race either, society made sure of that. It is sad to see a cop with his gun pulled out on the young man for nothing, just becauae of a command. The biggest crooks are those in charge, and they fear, fear within itself. Our society who are in control fear the loss of being in charge. Karma will take its place.