Cops Who Pistol-Whipped And Punched Teen Hit With Criminal Charges

November 5, 2014 | Prachi Gupta

The two NYPD officers who pistol-whipped and punched a Brooklyn teenager in August have been charged as criminals in Brooklyn Supreme Court. Officer David Afanador (pictured above, on the right) has been charged with felony assault of the 2nd degree, criminal possession of a weapon of the 4th degree, and official misconduct, while Officer Tyrane Isaac (pictured above, in the middle) was charged with two misdemeanors — assault of the 3rd degree and official misconduct — according ANIMAL’s Amy K. Nelson, who was on the scene.

The officers were caught on a surveillance video assaulting 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble after he surrendered to police on August 29. Obtained by DNAinfo in October, the video showed that the boy, arrested on suspicion of weed possession, stopped and surrendered to the police after being chased. Isaac responded by swinging at the boy, who ducked and then reeled backwards into a wall. Afanador then hit him in the face with his gun before running to retrieve a bag Tribble discarded while running. According to a press release ANIMAL obtained from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, one of the objects that Afanador hit Tribble with included a bag of weed:

“Office Afanador was then recorded locating and retrieving a bag of marijuana that Tribble allegedly tossed before running away, approaching the teen with the bag and allegedly striking him in the face with it. Tribble was arrested for marijuana possession and disorderly conduct.”

Isaac stayed behind to make the arrest after he threw another punch at Tribble. A third officer, Christopher Mastoros, appeared on the scene but took no action while witnessing the misconduct.

The video surfaced just weeks after a grand jury began deliberating over police misconduct in the death of Eric Garner, and has furthered the community’s concerns over police brutality and excessive force.

Both Afanador and Isaac have been on the force for nine years and entered not guilty pleas. Their lawyer, Stephen Worth, argued that the jury will need to see the officers’ actions in context.

“At first glance the video is hard to watch,” said Worth. “What the jury needs and what the jury will get is context. They’ll get the background, the circumstances…They’ll get what happened before the video and what happened after the video. But there’s no audio, which is key in these cases.”

“We’re not justifying anyone fleeing from the police,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson. “The video does not capture everything. The video does capture some very serious violations of the law…This is a case we brought because it was the right thing to do. We cannot have anyone on the streets of Brookyln pummeled, attacked unjustly.”

Tribble’s attorney, Amy Rameau, said, “He’s just a kid. This should never happen. It should never come to this.”

“It’s not a crime to run away if you’re scared,” she continued. “What [the officers] did was a crime. They’re the criminals here.”

(Photo: Amy K. Nelson/ANIMALNewYork)