Another Day, Another Sickening New Video of Police Brutality

Footage shows NYPD officers beating a man who had his hands up.

A disturbing video taken in New York City shows police punching and beating a man who greeted the officers with his hands up.

The July 7 video, obtained and published by the New York Daily News, shows Thomas Jennings standing at the counter of a convenience store, raising his hands in surrender. A police officer approaches with a baton in his right hand and starts pushing him in the chest with his left. Jennings begins to back up with his hands in the air, when a second officer rushes in and starts punching Jennings in the head. The two officers then begin to handcuff Jennings’ hands behind his back. After cuffing Jennings, one officer hits him in the back with the baton and uses his elbow to drive Jennings’ face into the counter.

Jennings was arrested and accused of robbery, menacing, larceny, possession of stolen property, possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest, according to the criminal complaint obtained by Mother Jones. He was held without bail until July 13, and was then released.

According to the Daily News, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD are both reviewing the incident. 

The incident apparently began at another store, where Jennings and another man tried to buy two slices of pizza. Jennings told the paper that he was a dollar short, so he stepped outside to ask someone for a quick loan. After he left, the other man allegedly pulled out a switchblade and told the employee that they weren’t going to pay for the pizza. Then both men fled. Police tracked Jennings to another store, where the confrontation took place.

“It’s horrendous what they did to him,” Amy Rameau, Jennings’ lawyer, told the Daily News. “He had his hands up. He didn’t pose a threat to anyone in that store. It was an absolute use of excessive force.”

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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