BREAKING NEWS Death investigation at Olmsted County intersection Full Story

NYPD officer suspended without pay following 'disturbing apparent chokehold incident'

Following an investigation by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, a police officer involved in a "disturbing apparent chokehold incident in Queens" has been suspended without pay, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

Posted: Jun 22, 2020 4:51 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2020 4:51 PM

Following a "swift" investigation by the New York Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau, a police officer involved in a "disturbing apparent chokehold incident in Queens" has been suspended without pay, according to New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

"While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary," Shea said Sunday.

The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau launched an active use of force investigation after video of an arrest surfaced on social media.

An attorney for the man seen in the video has called for the officer involved to be fired and prosecuted.

The video shows several officers affecting the arrest of an individual, with one in particular appearing to put him in a chokehold.

Another officer is observed tapping the back of the officer who had the individual in an apparent chokehold, and that officer appears to release his hold.

Body camera released by the NYPD shows the moments leading up to the incident.

According to a law enforcement source, the incident happened 8:45 a.m. Sunday morning on Rockaway Beach Queens boardwalk as police were responding to a disorderly group in the area.

Three men in particular are seen on camera making exchanges with police, sometimes in conversation, other times name calling and taunting.

At one point the man who eventually was taken into custody approaches the officers and taunts them, saying "I'll throw sh*t in your face."

The law enforcement source described the man saying on camera "touch any of my boys and you'll be dead," parts of which can be heard on camera.

It's at this point one of the other men intervenes and says "stop," while a third man says you're just "givin' them a reason to beat our a**es."

One of the men has a cell phone on the police the whole time, continuing to taunt them and call them names, and shouting out the officers' names and badge numbers. He named one officer repeatedly and challenged the officer to "push" him again.

A few times the officers tell the individual that they are too close. At least one officer is observed wearing a mask, a requirement in the pandemic.

After 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?" Then the officers proceed to move in for arrest.

'He's choking him'

A scuffle ensues and the video shows several officers working to arrest the man -- from the view of the body camera you can see an officer eventually remove his arm from the man's neck.

"He's choking him," you hear from bystanders, even as officers are walking him to their vehicle. When asked by another bystander, an officer says, "He's not getting arrested, he's going to the hospital."

Eventually you see the suspect walking in handcuffs with police.

The man, whose name has not been released, suffered a laceration and was taken to a nearby hospital, the source said, adding that the man is still in custody and charges have not yet been announced or filed.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement Sunday that her office is aware of the incident and that an investigation is underway.

"There must be zero tolerance for police misconduct. The District Attorney's Office is aware of the incident in Far Rockaway today. We take these allegations very seriously and an active investigation is underway," Katz said.

Attorney for man in "apparent chokehold" calls for officers firing

An attorney representing the unnamed man seen in the video has called for the officer involved to be fired.

Lori Zeno, executive director of the Queens Defenders, said the NYPD officer used a chokehold to strangle her client until he was unconscious. "This officer needs to be fired and prosecuted. He is the one who committed a crime in this circumstance," Zeno said.

She said her client has been charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental justice, and resisting arrest.

Speaking to a crowd outside NYPD's 100th precint Sunday, Zeno said that officers approached her client "because he was kicking cans" and several officers "pounced" on her client after he allegedly kicked a can to an officer.

"The third charge, which is almost comical to be honest with you given his size and that three officers were on top of him, resisting arrest," Zeno said. "Resisting arrest, exactly. He couldn't even move. Right."

She said her client also suffered a "big circle on the back of his head" where his hair came off, causing a bloody scalp.

Sweeping police reform bills passed

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city agency charged with oversight of the NYPD, is also opening up an investigation, according to a city official.

The New York City Council last week passed a sweeping package of police reform bills, including an official ban on chokeholds. It has not been signed by the mayor.

The body camera footage was released as part of new directives put in place by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week.

A spokesperson for de Blasio's office said Sunday that "The video is very concerning. We're glad the NYPD is immediately launching an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened."

CNN is working to obtain permission of the bystander video, which has been posted on social media by several people, including a councilman candidate.

CNN has reached out to the Police Benevolence Association, the NYPD's union, and is working to reach the lawyer for the man arrested.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604608

Reported Deaths: 7642
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249941780
Ramsey52516897
Dakota46848471
Anoka42782458
Washington27433291
Stearns22559225
St. Louis18142313
Scott17552137
Wright16382149
Olmsted13401102
Sherburne1202495
Carver1067548
Clay826492
Rice8203110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi668185
Chisago620052
Otter Tail586284
Benton582998
Goodhue483974
Douglas475681
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459963
Isanti440164
McLeod430861
Morrison424862
Beltrami407862
Nobles407550
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307940
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18793
Renville182846
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault154819
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine115020
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371146

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58273640
Linn21228339
Scott20310248
Black Hawk16167312
Woodbury15241230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13512211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11229174
Story1071648
Warren584091
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517674
Webster516094
Muscatine4884106
Marshall486876
Des Moines467572
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones301057
Henry294537
Bremer288661
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268140
Benton259955
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232751
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198835
Page194522
Buchanan194133
Cedar192323
Hardin187544
Fayette186743
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152852
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131737
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96832
Monroe96431
Unassigned9530
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona83131
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53311
Adams3444
Rochester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 71°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 68°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 70°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 68°
Storm chances increasing for Thursday and Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events