This disturbing footage captured a burly policeman repeatedly pummelling a teenage boy in the head as he resisted arrest in New York.
Stunned bystanders are seen expressing their horror at the vicious beating unfolding in front of them as some, including police colleagues, try to restrain the well-built officer.
Some even try to intervene by grabbing the policeman’s arms as the officer forces the boy’s head down before striking him repeatedly with his fist.
Crowds are heard screaming “don’t hit him” as the policeman orders passers-by to get back before he unleashes further blows.
A female colleague is then captured trying to diffuse the incident by grabbing the officer’s arm before helping in the attempt to apprehend the teen.
Eventually the boy is handcuffed with both hands tied behind his back as one man scolds the officer by telling him “that’s f***** up”.
US media reported the incident was filmed as police arrested 16-year-old Alfred Burns when he tried to steal a bike in Marble Hill, Manhattan, on Friday.
Police sources said Burns pushed one officer to the ground in the struggle and placed his hand over his neck, according to the New York Post.
The burly officer then climbed on top of Burns in an attempt to protect his partner, the newspaper reports.
The 16-year-old was said to be taken to hospital for treatment and later released.
He was reportedly arrested and charged with assault, petty larceny, resisting arrest, criminal possession of stolen property and giving a fake name.
The incident, which was widely shared on social media and uploaded to LiveLeak, is now being reviewed by the New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, the New York Post reported.
London-based actor and writer Michael ‘Buck’ Maris was among those who shared the clip on Twitter.
He wrote: “I don’t know what this kid did or supposedly did, but this is nuts, I found this hard to watch smh (shaking my head) look how massive the officer is.”