Syed Ali was responding a call from a woman who said she was being sexually harassed by several men.
Photo by Ludovic Berton/Flickr
These days, when videos of police go viral it’s usually because they’re using excessive force. So it’s refreshing to see that people cheering an NYPD after he was caught on video bravely fighting off a group of attackers — not with a gun — but his feet, baton, and words.
Jay Finesse posted a video of officer Syed Ali fighting back a menacing mob in a Lower East Side Manhattan Subway Station on Sunday, December 23, and it has already earned over 800,000 views. Ali was responding a call from a woman who said she was being sexually harassed by the men. When the officer showed up, they approached him in a threatening manner.
In the video, Ali kicks two men and repeatedly strikes back the mob with his baton while shouting, “I don’t want to hurt you.” The officer says his NYPD and military training allowed him to handle the situation without turning to lethal force.
At one point, one of the men falls onto the subway tracks.
“Life is precious, and going to that weapon is not necessarily the first thing we should be thinking about,” Ali told reporters. “There are other tools that we’ve been given, other tactics that we’ve been shown, and we got to use all of the resources before going to deadly physical force.”
Three of the men were apprehended by police and criminally charged with everything from obstructing governmental administration, riot, attempted criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing.
Ali was praised on Twitter by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his former police commissioner, Bill Bratton. Councilman Chaim M. Deutsch, a Democrat from Brooklyn, presented Mr. Ali with a certificate and thanked him for showing “restraint and discipline in how he de-escalated the situation.”
What extraordinary professionalism and bravery by NYPD Officer Syed Ali. Attacking our men and women in uniform won’t ever be tolerated. The NYPD is upping its presence at this station and others to ensure officers have the support they need. https://t.co/rWEAf48DEk— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 25, 2018\n
Kudos to this NY cop on his performance. His situation is a reminder to New Yorkers & their political leaders that NYC’s decline in the 70s & 80s began in the subways. The quality-of-life declines & warning signs are all there for it to happen once again. https://t.co/9ElS54V4NM pic.twitter.com/68DKn5NKKX— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) December 25, 2018\n
I visited @NYPDTransit Task Force in North Brooklyn to thank Officer Syed Ali for his quick action to defend civilians and himself against five individuals attacking on a subway platform. Officer Ali showed restraint & discipline in how he de-escalated the situation. pic.twitter.com/xLe996P5ti— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) December 25, 2018\n