new york's finest

NYPD Officer Breaks Fare-Beater’s Face With a Nightstick

It’s time to flip the “Days Since the Release of Disturbing NYPD Footage” sign back to zero. (It had been at around 30, for those keeping track.) In a video posted to YouTube on Thursday, a New York City police officer can be seen using his nightstick to beat Donovan Lawson, who has been cornered on top of a row of subway station seats. After taking a swipe at the 20-year-old’s legs, the cop cracks him across the face, eliciting screams and horrified wows from the videographer and the other people watching the scene.

The officer than drags Lawson through the turnstile to the station’s entryway, where three other officers are waiting. The young man’s head is covered in blood and appears to already be swelling. “He needs an ambulance!” an onlooker shouts. “He’s going to the ambulance,” one of the cops replies as he places Lawson in handcuffs. All of this happens within the first minute and a half of the four-minute video (the hits come in the first few seconds). The remainder of the footage mostly shows the cops standing around on the sidewalk and watching the guy bleed as a friend tries to hug him.

According to what the police told Gothamist, this took place at the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway JMZ station on Thursday evening. Lawson allegedly tried to board the subway without paying and refused to show his ID to the officer who caught him. The cop moved to arrest Lawson, who supposedly resisted, and then the nightstick came out.

Gothamist reports that Lawson was taken to Woodhull for treatment and then charged with fare beating, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstructing government administration. (Meanwhile, the cop who beat him was treated for injuries to his arm and hand.) The NYPD’s Internal Affairs unit is said to be looking into the incident.

Cop Hits Fare-Beater in the Face With Nightstick