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A New York Police Department officer has been placed on paid sick leave after allegedly sustaining a wrist injury while smacking a subway fare evader in the head with his baton.
A video of the incident, which occurred at Brooklyn's Myrtle Avenue subway station, went viral in November. The clip shows the officer, Evans Mazile, belting 20-year-old Donovan Lawson in the stomach and then the forehead. Lawson lurches forward, stunned and bloodied, with the officer's hand gripped around his collar, while witnesses scream in the background and at least one person films the incident.
Donovan had allegedly attempted to "double up" at a turnstile by following his girlfriend quickly through the barrier.
Mazile, an eight year veteran of the force, reportedly hurt his wrist in the incident and has been on leave with pay since the encounter on November 20, according to DNAinfo.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is now deciding whether to present evidence to a grand jury to determine if Mazile's actions resulted in a crime being committed. The officer has previously had eight civilian complaints filed against him, including two involving the alleged use of excessive force.
Lawson, meanwhile, is being held in a jail on New York's Rikers Island, charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, theft, and trespassing. He was on parole for a 2013 robbery at the time of the incident.
Photo via Flickr