NYPD Officer Suspended After Video Catches Him Using Illegal Chokehold On Black Man
The NYPD quickly suspended an official on a cell phone video with a stranglehold on a black man suspected of molesting beach-goers on Sunday.
"Responsibility in policing is essential," Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted. "After a rapid investigation by the Home Affairs Bureau, a policeman involved in an unsettling obvious Chokehold incident in Queens was suspended without pay. ... While a full investigation is still ongoing, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary. "
The man shown in the video, Ricky Bellevue, lost consciousness in a stranglehold and was treated in a hospital for a bloody scalp and swollen wrists, his lawyer Lori Zeno told The New York Times.
The viewer's video shows officials trying to restrain Bellevue on the promenade at Rockaway Beach in Queens on Sunday morning. A policeman identified by Zeno as David Afanador appears to have his arm around Bellevue's neck as he lay face down on the floor. Observers shout that the policeman should let go. A fellow officer taps the policeman, puts on his shirt and asks him to let go of his grip. You hear a man from Bellevue say, "He's out."
The NYPD officer used an illegal stranglehold on a black man this morning in Far Rockaway, NY - and only stopped because another policeman realized it was a movie.
You choked him ...
00:10 - June 22, 2020
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"The official who intervened to stop his colleague did just the right thing," tweeted Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday evening. "I recommend it. We have to see that from all our officers. "
The video comes amidst the national outrage sparked by the Minneapolis police's murder of George Floyd. Dozens of protesters rallied outside the 100th district on Sunday afternoon to protest the alleged brutality of the queens, NBC New York reported.
Only a few days earlier, the New York City Council passed a law that makes the police a crime, NY1 found. Eric Garner died in 2014 after being strangled by a NYPD official for selling loose cigarettes.
Afanador and other officials were dispatched on Sunday to investigate reports of three men harassing and throwing objects at beach-goers, NBC New York reported.
Bodycam footage of the police show three men mocking and filming the officers. Bellevue, whom relatives say he has a mental illness (which the cops know is known in the video), approaches the officers with what appears to be behind his back.
Officers then tried to subjugate Bellevue. The cell phone video shows an officer pressing his forearm on the back of Bellevue's neck for about 10 seconds while spectators are screaming.
Bellevue has been accused of suspected disorderly behavior, government administration obstruction, and opposition to the arrest, according to the New York Times.
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