The clip, shot by a witness in the Bronx, New York, shows an officer ‘shooting craps’ – a dice game in which players wager money against each other based on the outcome of the roll.
“If you ace out right now, you gotta let him go,” say the young men on the pavement to the uniformed officer in the video.
He is then seen blowing on the dice for luck before throwing them.
The man even throws a second time – this time kissing the dice before throwing them.
In the background of the video, the prisoner believed to be the object of the bet can be seen sat in the police cruiser.
The short clip ends after the officer rolls the second dice, leaving viewers uncertain whether the person under arrest went free.
“This detective is giving every good cop a bad name,” said private investigator Manuel Gomez.
“He”s making the police department look horrible.
“There”s a lot of good cops out there.”
But users on social media site Reddit came to the defence of the under-siege officer.
“Plenty of things to be up in arms about regarding the police but this example isn”t one of them,” said one viewer.
“A cop playing a game with kids in the community? Looks like good police work to me.”
The NYPD told local media outlet PIX11 in a statement: “The matter is under internal review.”