NYC Police Investigate Chokehold In Harlem

July 25, 2014

choke in east harlemCBS News reports that the New York Police Department is conducting an internal investigation after a video surfaced of another officer using an apparent chokehold on a suspect during an arrest.

Police say the July 14 incident happened at a subway station in East Harlem.

They say 22-year-old Ronald Johns was arrested on a fare-evading charge after walking through an emergency gate without paying. Police say Johns also was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespass.

Chokeholds are banned under NYPD policy.

Cellphone video of the incident shows a police officer with an arm around the suspect’s neck as he struggles to arrest him. Chokeholds are banned under NYPD policy.

The video also shows the officer punching the suspect, reports CBS New York.

The two officers involved say they were injured in the struggle. Both were on medical leave Wednesday, according to the station.

Johns’ arrest happened three days before another man, Eric Garner, died in police custody after a New York City officer apparently placed him in a chokehold.

In video of that arrest, Garner, who police suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes, can be heard gasping, “I can’t breathe!”

The officer who placed Garner in the apparent chokehold has been stripped of his gun and badge pending an investigation. Another has been placed on desk duty. Two paramedics and two EMTS have been suspended without pay.

The New York Police Department has vowed to retrain its officers on the use of force in the wake of Garner’s death.

Garner’s funeral was held Wednesday. The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke during the service, telling the crowd he was scheduled to meet Friday with the U.S. attorney’s office. Sharpton is calling for a civil rights probe.

Autopsy results for Garner, who had asthma, are pending.

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