The of New York Police Department (NYPD) on Sunday suspended without pay a white officer involved in putting a suspect, an African-American, in a recently-banned chokehold while arresting him in in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement on Sunday.
“After a swift investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, a police officer involved in a disturbing apparent chokehold incident in Queens has been suspended without pay,” Shea said. “While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary”.
The commissioner did not mention the name of the suspended officer.
1/2— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) June 21, 2020
Accountability in policing is essential. After a swift investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, a police officer involved in a disturbing apparent chokehold incident in Queens has been suspended without pay. https://t.co/pAFUo0zxnc
On Sunday, a video showing the incident circulated on social media, sparking wide criticism against the officer’s misconduct, especially after the New York City Council passed legislation that considers the use of chokeholds by police a criminal offense.
In the 29-second long video, a group of white NYPD officers were attempting to arrest a black suspect. One of the officers was seen putting the man in the illegal chokehold.
“Yo stop choking him bro!” someone off-screen shouted, as the continues holding the suspect's neck until another officer taps him on the back.
NYPD officer used an illegal chokehold on a black man this morning in Far Rockaway, NY — and only stopped because another cop realized they were being filme.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 21, 2020
They choked him out... pic.twitter.com/SXZNnSbwDM
At least ten demonstrators were seen in front of the 100th Precinct office protesting the incident, holding Black Lives Matter signs.
Happening Now: Protests have started in front of the @NYPD100Pct regarding the violent arrest made earlier today.#NYPD #NYC #Queens #PoliceBrutality #NYPD100Pct #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #BLMprotest— Real Buffing News (@RealBuffingNews) June 21, 2020
Video of the arrest https://t.co/b2t640GfcN pic.twitter.com/My49yCL07x
Hours following the arrest, the NYPD released footage from a body camera worn by one of the police officers associated with this incident.
“We are committed to transparency as this process continues,” the commissioner said, adding, “Accountability in policing is essential”.
The measure of banning chokeholds was introduced in New York in the wake of the nationwide anti-police-brutality and anti-racism protests triggered by the killing of African-American George Floyd at the hands of white police officers, one of whom knelt on Floyd's neck until he died in Minneapolis City, Minnesota.