Visit for more information

An NYPD responds to a teen allegedly resisting arrest with unnecessary force

Donovan Lawson is a teenager who did allegedly did exactly what he shouldn’t do when approached by an NYPD officer, and paid the brutal and unnecessary price. In a disturbing and graphic incident captured on video, Lawson is seen standing on a subway bench after “resisting arrest” when the police officer caught Lawson beating the fare while trying to board the J/M/Z train at the Myrtle Ave-Broadway station.


According to a Gothamist report, when Lawson was asked to produce some form of identification, he refused, at which point some series of events found Lawson on the bench. The video recording begins here, and no sooner does the video begin does the police officer–who is African-American, as is Lawson–whip out his baton and strike Lawson twice. Once on his torso, and once on the right side of Lawson’s face, causing a wound above his left eye that continues to bleed so profusely, when he makes contact with one of his friends who frantically pleads with Lawson to surrender to the arresting officer, she ends up with a large blood stain on her face.

After he’s dragged down from the bench by the officer, Lawson is taken outside the train station, but appears to continue to evade the arrest until the overpowering force of the officers–the baton-wielding officer is joined by two of his colleagues shortly after–and the screams from his friends forces Lawson to comply with the officers’ demands. Lawson was taken to Woodhull Hospital where he was treated for his injury, and was subsequently charged with evading arrest, fare-beating and disorderly conduct. The officer is being investigated by NYPD’s Internal Affairs unit.