A New York City police officer was suspended without pay Sunday after he was captured on video appearing to put a Black man in a chokehold.
The suspension came days after the New York City Council passed a measure imposing criminal penalties on officers who use the banned maneuver. New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called the incident “disturbing” and said “immediate action” was necessary while authorities investigate.
Cell phone video of the incident shows several officers restraining the man on his stomach, and one of the officers appears to have his arm wrapped around the man’s neck.
“Stop choking him,” a bystander can be heard shouting at the officers.
A New York Police Department spokesperson said the man was in good condition. He was taken into custody, but it wasn’t immediately clear what he had been arrested for. Neither the man nor the officer have been identified.
Body camera footage from the incident, which occurred in the Rockaway section of Queens, shows three men arguing with police before the apparent chokehold is used. One of them can be seen approaching the officers and saying, “You scared?” before one of the officers appears to tackle the man.
A law enforcement source said the incident occurred after a 911 report that three men were harassing people and throwing objects at them. The officers tried to detain the man after he approached them with a bag, the source said.
The incident came three days after the New York City Council passed an anti-chokehold law criminalizing the the use of the maneuver, which the NYPD banned in 1993, NBC New York reported. The measure adds to a state law signed earlier this month that requires officers be criminally charged if a chokehold results in injury or death.
That bill was named for Eric Garner, the Staten Island man killed on July 17, 2014, while being arrested for selling loose cigarettes. In a video of Garner’s arrest, former officer Daniel Pantaleo could be seen putting Garner in a chokehold while he repeatedly says he can’t breathe.
New York City’s law requires officers be charged with a misdemeanor regardless of whether there’s an injury, NBC New York reported.
Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter contributed.