Skip to content

NYPD Beating Jew in Crown Heights, Kenneth Ellman View

NYPD Beating Jew In Crown Heights, October 18, 2012

From Kenneth Ellman,, Newton, NJ 07860

After watching the video of the arrest and reading so many accounts and discussions, I have a brief analysis  as follows:


1. It does not appear that this was a “Police Problem” per se.  Everything I read indicates that the suspect, a young American Jewish man named Ehud H. Halevi, needing and receiving  help, was in a Jewish place with the full permission of the Rabbi. Yet, the Police were called and apparently were told by whoever was in charge at that moment that this  young Jewish man was a trespasser. When the Police then went to remove him the confrontation we see on the video unfolded with a tragic and unnecessary beating and arrest of this Jewish man in a Jewish  place where he had a right to be. Arrested and beaten by Police Officers who were misinformed by a ignorant member of that community. The Police did not  know that this young Jewish man was just where he was supposed to be in this Jewish house.  And as might be expected in a case of  poorly  trained and apparently poorly supervised Police Officers, they just would not listen to the “suspect” and did not try to inquire further and resolve this problem without any violence.  Why did these Police Officers abandon their simple duty of investigative inquiry and fail to learn more and  make verification phone calls? Why did they fail to call for a Supervisor to resolve this  apparent discrepancy in stories between the person who called them and the “suspect” ?

Why??? How strange. How many of us can step back and see our own family there being beaten?  It would be hard to make up such events. Now we foolishly want to blame this strictly on the Police. I ask you did the Police enter this Jewish place on their own or were they called by someone there with  apparent authority? And now this young Jewish man, who was merely sleeping and trying to survive as best as he can found himself so quickly in a world and a fight he most certainly  did not want nor expect. Who called the Police and asked them to use force to  hurt and remove this apparently fully innocent man??

2. It is very difficult to know exactly what caused the 2 Officers to believe they were so threatened that it was necessary to attack this man. Certainly he can be seen to resist arrest and that in and of itself under New York law is sufficient to use necessary  physical force to make the arrest.  Whether the arrest was justified under New York Criminal Procedure Law/Penal Law is a separate question for the District Attorney initially and later for the Courts to determine. NY Law is clear that physical force can always be used to make an arrest to the limited  extent necessary to overcome resistance. That is settled law. It is also not so easy to apply in practice for any law enforcement Officer confronted with resistance and force.

3. I and others with some knowledge of law enforcement, watched this Video and came away with the conclusion that the Officers were not properly trained in how to safely control and subdue a suspect.  It really appears they did not know how to physically make a safe arrest. I have seen this before. It was a very unfortunate example of poor police training. It should be shown  as a training video for what an Officer should NOT  do.  So combine a lack of training in how to verify and investigate a simple  non violent trespass allegation with  obviously very poor training in arrest procedure with  the unauthorized  phone call asking for this innocent sleeping man to be removed (certainly not the fault of the Police)  and what you have is what you see on the video.

4. It does appear that due to the insufficient arrest training of the  Officers they used physical force that should not have been necessary.  But an Officer must and can only use the tools he has at his disposal and his training is one of those tools for better or worse.  The Police Agency they are employed by is responsible for the poor training, not the Officers.

5.  It does appear that upon arrival of the Officers they were able to fully communicate with the suspect and open a dialog. Why they believed it was necessary to escalate that dialog into an arrest is not fully known at this time. It does appear that the suspect did NOT offer any physical danger to the Officers BEFORE they attempted to handcuff and arrest. So what talk took place we do not now know.  Just before the violence erupted the video clearly shows a fellow in apparent authority,  come out and argue with the suspect  Ehud H. Halevi.

That fellow in authority  appeared to be the trigger for the Police action. That is the problem.

I suspect that these Officers were simply acting upon information given to them that the young innocent sleeping fellow was illegally in the premises and needed to be removed.  In such a situation the Officers were obligated to act.  The video seems to show that the  “suspect” Ehud H. Halevi tried to explain to and argue with the Officers that he had the right to be there, which in fact he did.

6.  When Officers are confronted with this situation and have sub par arrest training, it is usually best to simply call for backup and wait. Then you have overwhelming physical presence (hopefully with an experienced Officer) to safely subdue a non violent unarmed suspect. And if a Supervisor arrives on the scene,  asks questions and speaks to people, the entire incident may have simply be resolved to the benefit of everyone.   It would also have been better for the Officers to have simply called for a Supervisor to determine if the “suspect’s ” statement that he did in fact have permission to be in this place could be verified. There are emergency phone numbers to contact those in charge of the House, to  resolve the facts.  But as we all know that did not happen.

7.  These Police Officers did not go that extra distance to try and handle this problem and so they apparently  did what the law simply allowed and ordered young Halevi to leave his temporary refuge and when he refused they again did what the law allows them to do, they arrested him.

8.  Yes, there is the issue of poor police training and incompetent, truly incompetent,  law enforcement response.  That I assume must and will be fully pursued. Hopefully Justice will be done for this young Jewish man in this Jewish House, who was simply sleeping.

9.  BUT, do not only blame the Police. It was a member of this community, who called the Police and told the Police to remove this young harmless sleeping man.  Then that stupidity and perhaps maliciousness of the phone call to the Police, coupled with the obvious  incompetence and poor training of the two initial responding Officers, led to the video that we have all watched in disgust.

10. The responding Police Officers probably did not know this young Jewish sleeping man.  However the fellow community member seen on the video, who set this mess in action,  certainly knew. And that same man certainly knew who to call to verify the right of Mr. Halevi to be where he was.    It is a very disturbing question for the community as to how the Police could have been called for utterly no reason at all.   The video is also a very, very disturbing question for the Police Department as to how these two Officers could have been so poorly trained and supervised.

11. This did not have to happen.  But do not only blame the Police.  Luckily no one was severely injured. No shots were fired. An important lesson can be learned by both this Community, the Police Department and everyone else, if they wish to learn it. The only thing we can say for sure is that this incident will repeat itself somewhere, sometime. It always does. And the stink of human stupidity goes on.


Video  and news reports of incident are everywhere including at:   and

The above is only my opinion. The facts speak for themselves.

Kenneth Ellman,  Box 18, Newton, NJ 07860