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NYC police officer caught on video hitting woman, 19, in the face

Tamani Crum shoved an officer arresting a suspect, and he responded by hitting her in the face, sending her onto the sidewalk. She was charged with assault on a police officer.

A New York City police officer was caught on video hitting a woman in the face, sending her reeling onto the ground, as police officers were trying to arrest a man allegedly in connection with an attempted murder. 

The incident unfolded Tuesday as police were arresting Elvin James, 22, at West 136th Street just before 5 p.m.

During the arrest, “multiple individuals” at the scene “interfered by physically assaulting numerous officers,” the New York Police Department said. One officer sustained a minor injury to the head, police said. 

Bystander video circulated online. Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell released a brief snippet of the scuffle captured in body camera video Thursday.

The video shows multiple officers and bystanders at the scene in front of a home.

A young woman runs up to an officer and appears to shove his shoulder. The officer immediately responds and appears to hit her in the face with an audible blow, causing her to fall on her back, smacking against the sidewalk.

Tamani Crum is punched by a police officer
A police officer punches Tamani Crum during an arrest in Harlem on Tuesday.NYPD

People in the background are heard clamoring after the hit. One person yells: “Why would you do that? That’s a little girl.”

She is then lifted by two officers and placed in handcuffs, the video shows.

The woman, identified by NBC New York as Tamani Crum, 19, of the Bronx, was charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, police said. 

In a statement, Sewell said the incident and the officer who used force are under “ongoing review” by the Internal Affairs Bureau’s Force Group.

Sewell said Crum was an acquaintance of James’. She said that after the woman "struck" one of the officers, “the officer fended off that interference and struck the woman with an open hand."

Crum remained conscious and was transported to a hospital at her request, Sewell said.

NBC News has asked a lawyer for Crum's family for comment.

The attorney, Jamie Santana Jr., told NBC New York, “This has to stop, and we are seeking full accountability in this action."

Her next court date is Oct. 11 in Manhattan Criminal Court. 

The detective was identified as Kendo Kinsey, who has had six complaints against him over the past 10 years, NBC New York reported, citing the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates citizen police misconduct allegations. None of the claims was substantiated. 

Crum’s mother said her daughter was covered in bruises. 

“I get blown away to see this happen to my daughter. It’s so painful for a mother to see that,” the woman, who did not share her name, told the station. “They are just violating these kids’ rights. It’s not right.”

Two other women were charged with interfering with police officer actions, Sewell said. 

James was arrested in connection with an investigation of an attempted murder that took place on Aug. 12. During the arrest, he was found to have a ghost gun and a large amount of a “controlled substance” police said. 

He was hit with the same charges as Crum, as well as several counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said in a statement, “When you assault a New York City Detective in order to interfere with an arrest of a man armed with a gun there are repercussions.”

He said the group is exploring a possible civil suit against the woman on behalf of the officer.