A Long Island cop was caught on video appearing to deliberately block a protester – prompting other officers to throw the man to the pavement and arrest him.
The scuffle in East Meadow on Saturday was caught on a now-viral video.
The now-viral clip first shows the Nassau County cop walking alongside the protester in East Meadow on Saturday, then moving in front of the man and stopping abruptly.
The demonstrator, who is marching with a speaker and microphone, bumps into the officer – prompting other cops to grab him and throw him to the ground.
“It’s touch him! More touch him! It’s not resisting! ” Another protester yells as more pairs form a barricade to prevent interference with the arrest.
The video shows the pairs pinning the man – identified by TMZ as Terrel Tuosto – to the ground, but protest organizers claim they were kneeling on his neck.
“They kneeled on his neck and had about 6 officers holding him down,” the protest organizers, Justice for George LI, said on Instagram.
“People started yelling and a cop walked into the crowd and pulled a third protester out of the crowd and slammed him onto the crowd,” the group wrote, insisting that “cops outnumbered the marchers easily.”
Not sure on the video if the cops are kneeling on the demonstrator’s neck – the controversial move used on George Floyd during his fatal arrest in Minneapolis that sparked international protests.
Tuosto told TMZ he believed he was set up and wanted the officers fired.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James also respond to a tweet of the video – viewed 6.6 million times by Monday morning – writing, “Please report this and send visuals to my office.”
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder defended the arrest, telling PIX 11 in a joint statement that it was “necessary” to avoid disorderly conduct.
They said the arrests were over demonstrators moving across the lanes of traffic.
“This safety precaution was met with strong opposition and resistance that resulted in the arrests of these subjects,” the statement read.
The pair praised the officers for “admirably” living up to their “oath to protect and serve.”
“Nassau County Police Officers are highly trained professionals and for days at over 75 demonstrations, had positively engaged with protesters at all events, even during some tense moments,” their statement added.