A shocking video captured in Western New York appeared to show a white man in military fatigues punching a black man several times in the face, before pinning him to the ground and sitting on his chest.
The violent exchange, captured on video by Said Hamideh, occurred along Elmwood Avenue, in Buffalo, on Thursday afternoon.
In footage of the incident, the black man, who Said believed to be mentally ill, is seen walking towards the white soldier and lunging toward him.
However, as the man approaches, the soldier punches him hard to the side of his face, dazing the man, before forcing him to the ground and sitting down on his chest.
‘I really didn’t like how he was sitting on his chest,’ Said told DailyMail.com, comparing the scene to the death of George Floyd, the black man died in Minneapolis police custody in May, gasping for breath under the knee of Officer Derek Chauvin.
‘I thought that, in the wake of George Floyd, it was inappropriate for a white man in uniform to be putting his body weight on a man’s diaphragm like that,’ he said.
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In footage of the incident, the black man, who Hamideh said appeared to be mentally ill, is seen walking towards the white soldier and lunging toward him
However, as the man approaches, the soldier punches him hard to the side of his face, dazing the man, before forcing him to the ground and sitting down on his chest
In the video, after the soldier pins the man on the ground, he yells out for someone to ‘call the police’.
Dozens of bystanders immediately race towards the scene of the scuffle, urging the soldier to ‘stop it’.
The man is seen squirming under the weight of the soldier as he attempts to free himself. Bystanders urge the soldier to cease sitting on the man’s chest but he refuses to move.
Meanwhile, the man can be heard screaming out for the soldier to ‘get the f*** off of me.’
As more bystanders flock to the scene, one is heard angrily asking the soldier whether he is a ‘white supremacist, or something’.
A second bystander, dressed in a red t-shirt, interjects: ‘This isn’t about race. Don’t make it about race.’ He continues by telling bystanders they don’t know the full story, and the man being pinned down had been causing problems earlier in the area, and police were called.
Said clarified he didn’t witness the earlier incident, but moments before he started filming, he had seen the man shouting at passers-by in the street.
From his understanding, Said said the incident between the black man and the white man in military fatigues was sparked when the man spat on the soldier’s car. The pair then exchange words, with the man making disparaging remarks about the military to the soldier, before calling him a ‘p****’.
Said recalled how he watched on in shock as the soldier charged towards the man, and reportedly laid a ‘haymaker’ of a punch to the man’s head. He said the soldier struck the man on a number of other occasions. Seconds later, he began filming.
Dozens of bystanders immediately race towards the scene of the scuffle, urging the soldier to ‘stop it’
As more bystanders flock to the scene, one (seen left) is heard angrily asking the soldier whether he is a ‘white supremacist, or something’
As the scene continues to unfold, tensions escalate. One of the bystanders, a middle-aged white man, exchanges a heated words with the soldier.
The bystander in the red t-shirt urges others to step back and give the soldier space. ‘You do not know what’s been happening all day. At least understand the facts before you open your mouth. You have no business here, back away,’ he says.
A woman then races over and begins berating the soldier, describing how she had seen him run over to the black man and ‘pummel him – for no reason’.
The bystander in the red t-shirt interjects that the man had ‘spat on the soldier’s car,’ adding,’ you think that’s fair?’
The woman, and a male bystander, respond that punching someone numerous times for spitting on their car is ‘not a fair exchange’.
The male bystander then calls out to the soldier: ‘You think you’re entitled because you’re in the army? Go f*** yourself dude,’ he says before inviting him to fight him instead.
Uncomfortable with how the situation was unfolding, Said is heard asking if the man was able to breathe under the soldier’s restraint.
Said then gets up from his seat and approaches the soldier and the man, asking the latter if he’s okay.
‘Oh yeah man, I’m good. I’ve been waiting for this,’ the man responds, smiling back at him.
Said then tells the soldier that he ‘shouldn’t sit on his chest’. The soldier doesn’t reply.
In was at this stage that Said said a number of shopkeepers and customers of stores down the commercial strip came outside to access the commotion.
A man in a wheelchair, who is black, comes into shot wielding a metal baseball bat
Uncomfortable with how the situation was unfolding, Said is heard asking if the man was able to breathe under the soldier’s restraint
Police finally arrive. The soldier immediately yields and walks away, while the man he had pinned down remains prone on the floor.
One of those individuals, a man in a wheelchair, who is black, comes into shot wielding a metal baseball bat.
‘Are you hitting people? Are you hitting our people?’ he asks the soldier, raising the bat in his direction.
‘Oh yeah,’ the soldier replies casually. ‘I hit him.’
The man in the wheelchair and another bystander, who is also black, accuse the soldier of acting of racist impulses.
The soldier assures the two men that ‘I see a man as a man. He’s yelling and shouting at people in the street, then he comes over and spits on my car. Then he turned around on me. I’m not going to let him hit me fist, man.’
The man in the wheelchair demands the soldier move. The soldier says he’s not going to let him get up and start hitting him.
The two men continue to exchange terse words before police finally arrive. The soldier immediately yields and walks away, while the man he had pinned down remains prone on the floor.
Bystanders are heard urging police to arrest the soldier before the video cuts out.
Said says he’s unsure of either of the two men were arrested. The black man who was pinned down for around five minutes was taken away from the scene of stretcher, he said. He described the man’s condition as dazed.
The documenteur said he spoke with a waitress of the restaurant he was sat at when the ruckus began, who told him the man had recently moved to the area and had been causing trouble in the neighborhood.
‘He apparently flashed some girls a few days before,’ Said claimed. ‘He was causing problems in the neighborhood that day too. He was shouting incoherently in the street, and people were calling out from the balconies for him to leave.’
Said described how glad he was to see so many bystanders attempt to intervene to either put a stop to the altercation and properly document on video.
It’s unclear whether man in fatigues show in the video is actually an active service member of the US military.
The Buffalo Police Department has not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request comment on whether either of the two men were detained.