Video captures police officer repeatedly punching NJ teen in face during arrest

A video capturing a police officer repeatedly punching a teen during an arrest has prompted outraged in a New Jersey community. 

Dozens of protesters, carrying signs that read "Stop racism now," held a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Dover, N.J., police department on Sunday, according to The New York Times

The protest occurred less than 24 hours after a cellphone video shared online showed Dover police officers arresting Cyprian Luke, 19.


The video starts out with Luke lying on the pavement as officers tell him to roll over onto his back. 

An officer can be seen punching Luke multiple times as another places his hand firmly by the teen's neck. 

"Stop resisting. You going to roll over on your stomach," an officer shouts as another punch is thrown at Luke, bloodying his mouth and face. 

It remains unclear what took place before Marcus Robinson, Luke's friend, began recording the incident, the Times noted.  

Carolyn Blackman, a town alderwoman, told The New York Times that Luke identifies as Afro-Latino.

Dover Mayor James P. Dodd said that there was no evidence that race played any factor in the arrest. 

He added to the newspaper that the police department had a warrant out for Luke's arrest and that he resisted the officers. He acknowledged that he was "disturbed" by the video, but said that it didn't cover the entire arrest and could lack full context. 

“I am concerned for the young man, Mr. Luke, and I am concerned for the police officers involved,” he said. “People should really allow the investigation to take its course. And believe me when I tell you, I will not tolerate any abuse by police officers to any resident.”

The officers involved in the arrest have been placed on administrative leave while the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office investigates, according to the Times. 

The newspaper reported that officers approached Luke near a convenience store around 2 a.m. on Sunday. Luke had reportedly been charged with assaulting a woman earlier this year.

The criminal division of the Morris County Courthouse also said that Luke had violated an order of protection earlier this month, which led to a warrant for his arrest being issued on May 14. 

Luke on Monday was charged with resisting arrest and providing false information to the police. He was being held at a Morris County jail as of Tuesday evening, the Times reported.