A teenager was hit by an NYPD officer inside his school. NY1's Criminal Justice Reporter Dean Meminger obtained exclusive video of the incident and an interview with the teen.
An NYPD officer is seen hitting a high school student in full view of his classmates, while yelling profanities at him.
"I was scared. It was a police officer cursing at me, hitting me, and I thought, 'Oh my God, he is never going to stop and nobody is even trying to break it up,'" said the student, 18-year-old Yordy Aragonez.
Aragonez said NYPD Officer Kareem Phillips, who was assigned to the School Safety Division, hit him twice with a baton.
The 18-year-old admits he was involved in a wild fight, seen above, inside Progress High School in Brooklyn. He claims he was defending himself after he was jumped by other students and thought the officer was coming to help him.
Meminger: Are you resisting the officer?
Aragonez: No, because as you can see clearly in the video, I was on the floor, and then he comes in the classroom and slams me into a desk. And I was already on the floor. He was just hitting me. I wasn't even trying to get up or nothing.
The incident happened in December, and the teen is now suing the officer and the city for assault and more training for officers placed in schools.
"If you believe you have probable cause to arrest him, then place him in handcuffs and take him away," said Gabriel Harvis, Aragonez's lawyer. "But what you see on the video is simply an effort to sort of, I don't know what, put on a show for these poor kids that have to watch this officer brutalize young Yordy, Yordy has to be on the ground taking it."
Meminger: Do you think he had another choice?
Aragonez: Yes, I really do.
Meminger: What should he have done?
Aragonez: He could have calmed me down.
The teen says one of the school's deans who also grabbed him is responsible as well.
The NYPD told NY1 that as a matter of practice, its Internal Affairs Bureau is reviewing the case.