Policeman suspended after being filmed putting man in choke hold despite ban

New York Police Department has suspended an officer for slamming a black man to the ground on Sunday and putting him in a chokehold – eight days after Governor Andrew Cuomo banned the tactic

The New York Police Department officer was filmed slamming the man, who gave his name as Ricky Bellevue, to the ground in Rockaway Beach at 8.45am yesterday.

Prior to the incident, Bellevue, 35, had been standing with two white men who were filming, jeering and encircling the police.

Bellevue is then seen on body camera footage approaching the officer carrying a plastic bag before being pinned to the floor.

The police officer claims Bellevue had reached for something during the approach, however the clip is unclear.

He is heard asking the officers: “You scared? You scared?”.

As he approaches the officer, one of the white men turns to Bellevue and says: ‘Yo, n***** what the f***?’

One of the belligerent men tries to hold Bellevue back, but the officer lunges forward and grabs him, taking him down. A scuffle then ensues.

Photos from the scene appear to show Bellevue being held in a chokehold.

As four uniformed officers restrained the man — who was face-down on the ground — a bystander yelled: ‘Yo, he’s choking ’em, let ’em go!’

Dermot Shea, commissioner of NYPD, said the officer involved had been suspended.

‘Accountability in policing is essential,’ he said.

‘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.

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

‘We are committed to transparency as this process continues.’

The New York Daily News named the suspended officer as David Afanador.


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