On Tuesday, the department did just that, reassigning the officer in question.
The incident took place at the Jay Street-MetroTech station, where a fight among teenage boys escalated with somebody discharging mace.
The police responded, and Adams commended their work of clearing the area and arresting the teens, calling it a “picture perfect execution” – with the exception of the officer in question.
“The one officer, I question his first punch, he was swinging at the beginning of the confrontation,” Adams said about video of the incident. “He took a chaotic situation that police had under control and he almost turned it into a riot situation, based on his actions.”
Adams, who was a police officer for 22 years, has experience as a transit cop, and he drew on his background to comment on the officer’s behavior in correspondence with the training he received.
He noted that the officer escalated the situation on three occasions.
“Policing subways and policing young people are completely different than any other method of policing,” Adams said. “You cannot punch a young person in the face merely because you are caught up in the aggression of the moment.”
Following the incident, five people aged 18 and younger were arrested on charges from resisting arrest to assaulting a police officer.
On Tuesday, Adams hosted a “Know Your Rights” town hall to teach youth how to interact with police.
Adams noted the inherent dangers placed on officers, citing Friday’s Brownsville incident where an officer was put in a medically induced coma after being hit by a metal chair.
DeQueen Roberts, a 13-year-old student at Science Skills High School, recalled the situation as a “brawl” that involved “one officer [who] abused his power.”
“We are tremendously upset about the officer who handled the situation in an uncivilized manner,” Roberts said.