NYPD releases body camera video of altercation with 19-year-old Tamani Crum
The NYPD released body-worn camera video Thursday of an altercation that led to an officer hitting a 19-year-old woman, sending her to the ground.
In a statement, the department said, "While the NYPD is committed to the safety of all New Yorkers, we are also committed to transparency."
The incident happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday on West 136th Street in Harlem.
The footage shows a chaotic arrest that gets even more chaotic after the woman in the frame, identified as 19-year-old Tamani Crum, confronts an officer as he is arresting a man she reportedly knows.
According to the criminal complaint, the detective told Crum to leave the area as they were making the arrest. He allegedly tried to grab her arm, and that's when Crum allegedly slapped the detective's arm away.
The officer is then seen pushing her, and she falls backwards onto the pavement. She is then seen getting picked up off the ground and taken into custody.
The NYPD shared the following statement Thursday:
On Tuesday afternoon, NYPD officers from the 32nd Precinct were attempting to take an individual into custody when a struggle ensued and a crowd formed around the officers. The individual was carrying in his waistband an illegal, loaded semiautomatic Polymer 80 handgun, known as a "ghost gun." The NYPD officers removed yet another illegal firearm – and the person brazen enough to carry it in public – from the streets of our city.
During this encounter, a female acquaintance of this individual began to interfere with the arrest, including striking one of the officers. That officer fended off that interference and struck the woman with an open hand. The woman was placed under arrest for Obstructing Governmental Administration, remained conscious, and was transported to an area hospital at her request. Two additional females were similarly charged with interfering with the actions of police officers during this incident. This incident, including the conduct of the officer who used force, is under ongoing review by our Internal Affairs Bureau's Force Group. All police body-worn camera footage, as well as other video surveillance from the area and witness statements, are being gathered and reviewed. While the NYPD is committed to the safety of all New Yorkers, we are also committed to transparency. Therefore, I have expedited the release of the officers' body-worn camera footage, and am awaiting the results of IAB's investigation.
Mayor Eric Adams was asked about the video Thursday and defended the officers' actions.
"I think those police officers on the scene showed great restraint. They did what the system called for," he said. "People got in and interrupted while police were taking action. That just can't happen... At a safe distance, you can video what the officers are doing, but you should never go inside a scene of apprehension."
On Wednesday night, Crum pleaded not guilty to obstructing governmental administration. After she was released on her own recognizance, her attorney said he was pleased the district attorney decided not to charge her with assaulting an officer or resisting arrest.
"Thank God she's out, and I'm happy that she's home with her mom. I'm very happy," Crum's mother told CBS2.
The family says the detective should be held accountable and that Crum, who has no criminal record, is suffering from injuries.
"He absolutely used excessive force. We're talking about a 19-year-old young girl versus a grown man who is approximately three times her body weight and size," said the family's lawyer, Jaime Santana Jr.
The detective is still on active duty.
NYPD sources tell CBS2 there will be an investigation, but added the officer's actions appear justified. The initial arrest was in a case of attempted murder and police say the suspect, 22-year-old Elvin James, had a loaded gun at the time.
Crum is due back in court Oct. 11.