Witnesses: NYPD captain kicked over memorial in Grand Concourse

Posted: Updated:
GRAND CONCOURSE -

Witnesses say that an NYPD captain kicked over a memorial in Grand Concourse last week.

A video of the alleged event on Sunday was viewed by thousands of people. 

Witnesses say the incident occurred following the Dominican Day Parade, and was during a memorial celebration that was broken up by police.

People who attended the memorial say that they were halfway down the block when they saw 46th Precinct Cpt. Emilio Melendez kicking over candles, which is when the video was recorded. 

The candles were in memorial of a man named Javi who friends say died in an ATV accident in the Dominican Republic.

Neighbors who witnessed the incident claim the crowd wasn't rowdy, but it's the community that now feels disrespected over the incident.

Police sources say a large disorderly group was smoking and drinking on East 176th Street and Morris Avenue. They summoned a 21-year-old for disorderly conduct and sources claim some of the men in the group were known members of the Trintarios gang.

The man behind the video of the incident denied any gang involvement.

The NYPD is conducting an internal review on the captain's conduct.

The Captain's Endowment Association tells News 12 Bronx that "The captain's actions were not pretty, but appropriate. The captain was leading a police response to multiple community calls for help dealing with large groups drinking alcohol, fighting and smoking marijuana.  This was no candlelight 'vigil' identifying a location of tragedy - rather it was the center of a large group intimidating a community."

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