18-year-old shares his side of the story after video shows Sacramento officer putting him into a chokehold

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A video circulating online shows an officer with the Sacramento Police Department using a chokehold in order to detain an 18-year-old.

“That night, I was sitting outside P.F. Chang’s looking through my backpack for my phone so I could call my grandma to come pick me up,” said Tyzhon Johnson.

Johnson said he was leaving the area near J and 15 streets early Monday to head home from the protest when he saw a police car approach him. 

“And out of the corner of my eye I see a police car just pull up to the curb very hard,” Johnson told FOX40. 

That’s when Johnson said he started running away to a nearby bus stop to get away from the melee.

“Same officer ended up pulling up to the bus stop with a police cruiser in front of them,” said Johnson. “I started running back up the street because it’s a one-way, hoping they can’t catch me.” 

Johnson said he then fell to the ground. 

“And the officer put me in a chokehold,” explained Johnson. 

He said he pleaded with the officer to let him go, at times making the tapping out motion on the ground.

Then he heard a woman asking the officer to let him go.

“She just started recording. That’s when the officers started putting me in a headlock and I started to be able to slap the ground. And I’m like, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,’” explained Johnson. 

Johnson said another officer toppled the bystander who recorded the video.

The 18-year-old was later taken to the hospital and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. 

While Sacramento police said Johnson was actively looting a business when he was confronted, Johnson said that is simply not true. 

“I am waiting for them to check surveillance at P.F. Chang’s or on that intersection because it will show that I was just sitting there,” said Johnson. 

According to documents, Johnson was released from jail on Tuesday and is due back in court in August. 

The police department said the use of force has been documented and will be reviewed per department policy, as with any other use of force incident. 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg provided the following statement to FOX40:

“I’ve been informed that the incident in this video is being investigated to determine whether it complies with police department policy, which does not allow chokeholds and allows carotid restraint holds only to prevent serious injury or death to the officer or another person. I want to have a further, public discussion with the police department and the City Council about whether we should ban the use of all neck holds.”

Mayor Steinberg

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