NYPD officer Nicholas Scalzo was recently suspended after a video of him repeatedly punching a 14-year old girl in the head went viral online. The incident took place when officers intervened in an after-school fight on Staten Island.
In the footage, the cop can be seen punching the girl while another officer can be seen attempting to break up the fight. The fight initially took place near Edwin Markham Middle School at around 2:45 pm on Tuesday.
NYPD officers were reportedly at a foot post near Willowbrook Road and Forest Avenue and intervened to break-up a fight between the two girls.
An NYPD spokesman also issued a statement surrounding the incident and said:
“There was a fight between two girls. We tried to intervene and it looks like one of the girls tried to stop us from intervening. They tried to handcuff one of the girls. And someone was pulling at them.”
The teenager, Kyonna Robinson, told the New York Post that she expected the cops to stop the fight but the officers allegedly got into the fight themselves:
“I jumped in and the cops came and were supposed to be breaking it up, but the cops got into the fight.”
She also shared that the officer hit her 11 times after she hit him twice following a scuffle:
“Then everyone was just in handcuffs and my sister [was] in handcuffs and I went up to my sister and asked the cops, ‘What are you doing?’ and he pushed me and then I hit him two times and then he hit me 11 times.”
Robinson further reiterated:
“I thought they would break up the fight. I didn’t think they would get into the fight.”
She also shared details of her injuries while speaking to the publication:
“I got a knot on my head. I still have migraines. I can feel where the knot on my head is without touching it.”
Robinson also criticized Nicholas Scalzo and the NYPD in her statement:
“If you are going to have officers like police officers, you should know that they’re going to do the right thing, that they’re not going to beat up on a 14-year-old.
She added that the cops first arrived when her 12-year-old sister Kaila was trying to break up the school yard fisticuffs. Both the girls were arrested but later released without any criminal charges.
What is known about Nicholas Scalzo?
Nicholas Scalzo is an American cop who currently works with the New York Police Department. He recently made news after a video of him pummeling a teenage girl in response to a school fight went viral on social media.
The officer was reportedly suspended without pay following the incident. Scalzo earned immediate criticism for his actions with the teenage girl’s mother Taneesha Robinson, telling The New York Post that the cop’s behavior was “upsetting”:
“I mean, it’s really upsetting to see a man hit a woman, but even more so to see a grown man hitting a 14-year-old girl and then just even more upsetting when that grown man is a police officer who’s supposed to be out there protecting women and children.”
She also said that the incident was shocking and unexpected. New York mayor Eric Adams also condemned Nicholas Scalzo’s actions saying he was “not pleased” with what he witnessed in the video.
The mayor added that Scalzo’s footage was being analyzed as part of the internal probe into the incident”
“A young girl was being jumped by two other children and the police intervened. It was NYPD, not school safety agents, and so we are going to look at the body cam of the police officers.”
Adams also noted that he first noticed the video on Instagram and confirmed that the commissioner immediately suspended Scalzo in the wake of the incident:
“We’re going to use the video that was posted on Instagram. That’s when it first came to my attention, and of my understanding, the police commissioner swiftly suspended the officer that was involved.”
A police source told The Post that the teenager hit Nicholas Scalzo first before the latter attacked her. However, the source also acknowledged that the cop “overreacted” and used extreme force against the girl:
“If you watch the body-worn camera, it’s just complete mayhem. I guess the officer overreacted. She hits him first and then he responds by striking her more than once. That’s problematic.”
However, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch asked people to not rush their judgment based on a “few seconds of video”:
“What is clear at this point is that these police officers were trying to break up a violent altercation when they themselves were assaulted. What is needed now is a thorough investigation of the entire circumstances, not just what has been posted online.”
While not much is known about Nicholas Scalzo’s personal life, reports suggest that in August 2013 he was injured during a brawl between revelers and officers in Mariners Harbor.
The Staten Island Advance reported that the cop was kicked and knocked to the ground during the fight and suffered a concussion and cuts to the hand.
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau investigated the situation and confirmed that Nicholas Scalzo was suspended without pay for up to 30 days.