New body cam video obtained by the Post Saturday shows the tense exchange between cops and two men that erupted into an all-out street brawl in Washington Heights this week.
The minute-and-a-half-long clip shows Aaron Grissom, 36, and Sydney Williams, 37, jawing with Police Officers Bramlin Rosa, 32, and Jeffrey Mota, 33, in front of the 168th Street 1 train station Tuesday afternoon. The clip begins about five minutes after police first engaged the combative pair, a senior police official said.
“You’re supposed to be 100 feet away,” one of the officers instructs, pointing the antenna from his radio, as Williams stands close to him.
Williams backs away slightly, and one of the cops is overheard saying “Thank you, shut the f–k up,” the video shows.
“Make me shut up,” Grissom snaps back.
One of the officers walks up to Grissom, who then appears to aggressively raise his arm, but doesn’t strike the officer. Then the cop punches him on the side of the face, and says, “You’re going under” — which means that he is going to be arrested.
Then the two start grappling on the sidewalk — before the fracas spills onto the street, the video shows.
Williams is shown yelling, “Why you hit him for?”
At one point, the cop wearing the body cam starts tussling with at least one of the men.
The video ends before police strike the two men with collapsible batons, which is shown in the initial clips.
In the first video, one cop snaps open a collapsible baton and then swings it at Williams, who blocks the strike with his arm.
Another cop then reaches over from the left and smacks Williams in the face with a baton, prompting Grissom to advance and chase that cop west on 169th Street.
Later, the two uniformed cops are shown swinging their batons at Grissom least 16 times, including at least three times while he’s on the ground.
“The officers have been responding to multiple complaints about loitering, smoking in the subway stairwell, creating disorderly conditions that a lot of people in the neighborhood feel ill at ease about,” the senior police official said Saturday of the altercation.
“The officers made a move to affect an arrest,” he said. “They’re obviously resisting. They’re clearly being combative. You can’t resist arrest.”
The official told The Post that the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is still investigating the incident.
“But I think broadly you have here officers who are responding to people who feel unsafe and uncomfortable in the subway,” he added. “When an officer is telling you to move along and spends 5 minutes to persuade and cajole someone and they refuse, and that suspect clenches a fist, that can’t be tolerated.”
And in a Saturday statement, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick J. Lynch said, “The latest video to emerge — purportedly footage from one of the officers’ body-worn cameras — clearly shows a perp refusing to obey a lawful order from a police officer, then attacking that officer when he tries to arrest him.”
On Friday, Police Commissioner James O’Neill also defended the officers’ actions.
“That day, they were approached and were told that there were people on the stairways harassing passengers,” O’Neill said. “The two police officers went and they told them that they couldn’t be there and it started. One of the cops made a decision to arrest Mr. Grissom and Mr. Williams, and Mr. Grissom decided he was gonna punch a cop.”
After Tuesday’s incident, both Williams and Grissom were arrested and hit with felony assault, resisting arrest, menacing, disorderly conduct and loitering charges, police said at the time.
But the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office only sought charges against Grissom, for felony assault, and released him without bail.
“Our Office is conducting a full, fair, and independent investigation into the alleged offenses for which Mr. Grissom and Mr. Williams were arrested,” a spokesman for Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said Friday.“We are separately conducting a full, fair, and independent investigation into the force used by Officers during this encounter,” spokesman Danny Frost added.
“With regard to Mr. Williams, our Office does not currently have probable cause to believe that this defendant committed a crime. Accordingly, we are deferring a charging decision as to Mr. Williams pending the completion of this investigation.”
In addition to Tuesday’s incident, both men were arrested inside the 168th St. station on Dec. 5, with Rosa allegedly seizing 14 zipper bags of K2 from Williams.
Court papers say the men threatened the arresting officers, saying, “We are going to get you. You’re going to get what’s coming to you.”
Grissom and Williams currently have a suit pending in Manhattan Supreme Court that claims they were falsely arrested after cops ejected Williams from an East Harlem pizzeria on St. Patrick’s Day 2016.
Last year, Grissom scored a $7,400 settlement from the city over a federal civil-rights suit that claimed he suffered a broken rib when cops arrested him at a Bronx homeless shelter.