The NYPD says they are looking into a disturbing video showing an officer brandishing his gun and instructing a group of men outside a Methadone clinic in SoHo to, “Go shoot your fucking heroin and die.”
In an 18-second clip circulating on Twitter, the irate officer can be seen drawing his gun on a group near the intersection of Prince and Crosby Street, then telling one man to “take a fucking walk right now.”
“There’s no reason to pull out a gun,” the man replied, prompting the officer to shout, “Go shoot your fucking heroin and die. Alright?”
The altercation occurred around the corner from the Lafayette Medical clinic, which specializes in opioid dependence treatment. The officer was “responding to a minor scuffle,” according to the antifascist-associated account that posted the video to Twitter a few weeks ago.
“IDENTIFY THIS PIG,” the person added.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>"Shoot your fucking heroin and die." NYPD’s version of community policing. An officer with his gun out screamed this at patients at a methadone clinic after responding to a minor scuffle. This officer should not be on the streets, let alone carrying a gun. <a href=”https://t.co/QG9u4GKzA3″>https://t.co/QG9u4GKzA3</a></p>— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ScottHech/status/1038533868540899328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>September 8, 2018</a></blockquote>
The officer’s identity has not yet been revealed. In a statement to Gothamist, a spokesperson for the NYPD said, “The commanding officer has been made aware of the video and is looking into it.” The area where the incident occurred is policed by the NYPD’s 5th Precinct.
An employee at the clinic said that they had seen the video as well, but could not comment further.
The footage has sparked outrage online, with police reform advocates and public defenders questioning why the officer has not been disciplined yet, and whether this qualifies as productive “community policiing.”
“I can only wish my clients’ cases got investigated as thoroughly as allegations of misconduct against police officers,” wrote Rebecca Kavanagh, a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society.
We’ve reached out to the Mayor’s Office, and will update if they respond.
**The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of BRLDF.