Mayor Eric Adams pledged Thursday to visit the Staten Island school near where a cop was caught on video thrashing a teen girl earlier this week.
The city continues to be up in arms after a cop was filmed hammering down blows on a 14-year-old girl who had been involved in an after-school brawl on Tuesday. Fourteen-year NYPD veteran Nicholas Scalzo responded to a brawl near I.S. 51, where three girls were fighting at a bus stop.
According to police, the 14-year-old girl (name withheld due to her age) allegedly attacked officer Scalzo after he attempted to break up the fight, which led to a disturbing video in which the cop was seen raining down hammered fists upon the young girl.
Staten Island natives, including teens themselves have expressed outrage at seeing a white officer beat a young girl of color.
“I’m shocked and scared to see yet another example of cops around our schools causing us harm. My sister goes to school around the corner from where this happened—what’s going to stop officers from beating up on us too? There is absolutely no excuse for a cop to beat up on anyone—much less a teenager,” Make the Road New York youth member Brielka Rodriguez said in a statement.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell responded to the public outcry on Jan. 5 during an unrelated press conference.
“Very few people who saw that video were not concerned. The force the officer used to stop that interference in that arrest to custodialize that person is what is under investigation,” Sewell said.
Officer Scalzo has been suspended from duty and is facing an investigation from the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau. Mayor Adams commended Sewell for the swift suspension and agreed that the incident was troubling, going as far as calling it horrifying.
“I was horrified to see the way a well-trained officer would respond in an incident like that,” the mayor said.
However, the mayor also criticized youth culture and the fight which led up to the attack. Adams declared he would take it upon himself to visit the school and investigate why such a confrontation between teens was even taking place.
“When you see some of these actions, when you see the just total disregard for human life is really challenging to just know the impact of what the victims are going through and how these young people are destroying their lives as what happened,” Adams said. “I commend the police commissioner and the Internal Affairs Bureau for taking swift action.”
“Let’s get over to that school and find out what’s going on,” Adams added.