NEW YORK (JTA) — Two New York police officers were shown on a video beating a man at a Chabad youth center in Brooklyn.
Video of the Oct. 8 incident, as captured by surveillance cameras at the center in the Crown Heights section, was posted Sunday to the Crown Heights community news website CrownHeights.info and picked up by the New York Daily News and The Huffington Post. The incident took place over the Shemini Atzeret holiday.
The New York Jewish Week reported Monday that New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board referred the case to the city Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit, an NYPD spokesman said Monday.
Zlamy Trappler, 24, a volunteer security guard at the ALIYA institute, said he called the police upon discovering the man, who was shirtless and sleeping in the lounge. Trappler thought the man was drunk, the Daily News reported.
The man, identified by CrownHeights.info as Ehud Halevi, is shown exchanging words with a male officer and pushing away the hands of the officer, who had taken out handcuffs. Shortly after, the cop assumes a fighting stance and takes several punches at Halevi, as he and a female officer wrestle Halevi to the couch where he was found sleeping, according to CrownHeights.info.
During the two-minute incident, the female officer appears to use a truncheon and pepper spray on Halevi, the Daily News reported. Afterward, eight police officers arrive and handcuff Halevi.
CrownHeights.info reported that Halevi is charged with assaulting a police officer, trespassing, resisting arrest and harassment.
Police did not respond to requests for comment Sunday night, according to the Daily News, which added that Sara Feiglin, the wife of Rabbi Moshe Feiglin, who runs the youth center, confirmed the account given by CrownHeights.info.