A Queens teenager says that cellphone video and graphic images of his face prove that police used excessive force during his arrest last month. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Robert Jackson said that police caused a scar shaped like a horseshoe on the side of his face.
"How could somebody do this to me?" he said. "I didn't do anything. I was on my break from lunch. I was like, 'Did I do anything wrong?'"
Cellphone video captured the incident last month on Northern Boulevard in Queens, where the 19-year-old said he attends a youth program.
In the video, several police officers are seen hitting and kicking the teen and yelling at him to put his hands behind his back.
"He had one arm over my head, one behind my back already. I'm like, 'I can't,'" Jackson said. "He's stepping on my arm. They're beating me in my face. I couldn't move my arms, and I was trying to tell him that."
Jackson said that police later scraped his face on the sidewalk.
The officers filed a criminal complaint, saying that Jackson used profanity, wouldn't keep his hands visible and tried to bite one of them.
Community leaders and Jackson's attorney said that it's a case of police trying to cover up brutality.
"His face is rubbed against the asphalt until it takes off two or three layers off his cheek," said Jacques Leandre, Jackson's attorney. "That's policing we are not going to stand for."
"When you look at the video, our eyes saw police officers punching that man," said Leroy Gadsden of the Jamaica branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "We saw police officers doing Worldwide Wrestling moves, dropping knees on that man."
Jackson's attorney wouldn't said what led to the confrontation because they're fighting criminal charges against the teen, including resisting arrest and marijuana position.
"What we are saying is that for whatever reason he was stopped, the behavior of the police was outrageous and inappropriate," said Bob Law of the National Leadership Alliance.
"A kick here, a punch here. That's not right," said Rev. Corey Terry, a youth and community activist. "Come on. No one should be treated like that."
The teen's lawyer said he has a meeting with the Queens District Attorney this week and will ask for all of the charges to be dropped.
"I asked the doctor if it is going to heal. He said he had no idea," Jackson said. "I might be like this forever, I don't know."
The New York City Police Department said it is aware of the incident and has referred it to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.