USA: video shows alleged beating in synagogue





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Published on Oct 18, 2012

Two New York police officers are under investigation after video footage emerged showing what appears to be the use of excessive force inside a Brooklyn Jewish community centre.

The video seems to show one of the officers repeatedly punching 21-year-old Ehud Halevi during an arrest earlier this month.

Meanwhile, some elected officials are demanding the department fire the officers, identified in court papers as Luis Vega and Yelena Bruzzese. Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called the alleged beating "unbelievable" and "shocking".

Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind:

"This officer thinks he's in a boxing ring. He lines up. He lines himself up to, literally, punch the individual. Just unbelievable, shocking. And then pummels the individual and then his partner gets involved."

The incident began after the two officers responded to calls about a dispute between a security guard and Halevi inside the outreach centre at the Aliya Institute in Crown Heights, where staff say he was allowed to stay.

Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind:

"This individual had permission to be there. he had been living there for weeks and was sleeping at 0405 in the morning. These officers wake him up and, basically, say: 'You gotta leave'. He is trying to explain to them that he has every right to be there - as was confirmed by the individual who runs that facility."

Halevy was arrested on charges of assault, based on the claim made by officers that he attacked them, resisted arrest and was guilty of trespass and other minor charges. The district attorney's office has declined to comment on whether the case against him would be dropped.

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