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Video shows NYPD officer slam man onto sidewalk in arrest outside restaurant

Chris Giorgio, whose video of the encounter went viral, said the man was knocked unconscious for a minute or so while he was handcuffed.

A viral video posted to social media Sunday shows a New York City police officer slam a man face first into a sidewalk during an arrest.

A police spokeswoman, Sgt. Mary Frances O'Donnell, said officers on patrol on Second Avenue encountered a man at about 10:15 p.m. Saturday causing a disturbance outside a Mexican restaurant.

When officers approached him and asked for his identification, the man refused and became combative, O'Donnell said. The officers tried to restrain him, and he resisted arrest, she said.

The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was issued a summons for having an open container of alcohol, O'Donnell said.

Chris Giorgio, whose video of the encounter went viral, said the man was knocked unconscious for a minute or so while he was handcuffed. NBC News does not know what occurred before the events shown in the video.

Onlookers can be seen in the video apparently flouting social distancing rules. Over the weekend, crowds gathered outside bars and restaurants on the Upper East Side, where the incident took place.

Mayor Bill de Blasio limited all restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

De Blasio said police would be increasing patrols on the Upper East Side in response to reports that at least one restaurant was allowing diners to sit inside.

"I want any New Yorker who sees any place allowing dining in to call 311 immediately, and they will be visited immediately with inspectors, and there will be serious fines," he said at a news conference Sunday. "And if we have to shut places down, we will if they're starting to violate these rules."

New York police have faced criticism of unequal enforcement of pandemic-related rules. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has pushed back against assertions from some elected officials and others who said arrest data and viral videos of recent arrests illustrate racial disparities in the enforcement of social distancing rules.

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On May 8, the department said that from March 16 to May 5, officers issued at least 374 summonses for violations of emergency procedures and for acts likely to spread the virus. Of those, 304 summonses went to black and Hispanic people.

De Blasio said Friday that police will no longer enforce mask-wearing by the public unless there is "serious danger."

The department will continue to enforce the ban on nonessential gatherings, prioritizing dispersing groups of "six-plus" adults, he said.