A New York City police officer has been suspended without pay after he was captured on video in what the police commissioner called a “disturbing apparent chokehold incident.”
“While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Sunday.
The New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau launched an active use of force investigation after video of an arrest surfaced on social media.
What’s in the video: The video shows several officers arresting a man, with one officer appearing to put him in a chokehold.
Another officer is seen tapping the back of the officer who had the man in an apparent chokehold, and that officer appears to release his hold.
According to a law enforcement source, the incident happened at 8:45 a.m. Sunday morning on a beach boardwalk in Rockaway, Queens as police were responding to a disorderly group in the area.
What led up to the incident: Body camera footage released by the NYPD shows three men in exchanges with police, sometimes in conversation, other times name-calling and taunting.
At one point, a man who eventually was taken into custody approaches the officers and taunts them, saying: “I’ll throw sh*t in your face.”
About 10 minutes into the video, one man reaches down and pulls up a plastic bag. He then walks out of view of the camera and his friend asks him “what are you doing?”
The officers then move in to make an arrest. A scuffle ensues and several cops work to arrest the man. The body camera video shows an officer eventually remove his arm from the man’s neck.
“He’s choking him,” bystanders can be heard saying, even as police are walking the man to their vehicle. When asked by another bystander, a cop says: “He’s not getting arrested, he’s going to the hospital.”
What happened afterward: The man, whose name has not been released, suffered a laceration and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the police source. The man is still in custody and charges have not yet been announced or filed, the source added.