NEW YORK — A New York City police officer was suspended without pay Sunday after he was recorded putting his arm around a man’s neck in what the police commissioner called an “apparent chokehold.”
The department’s action to suspend the officer was stunning in its swiftness, occurring just hours after the morning confrontation on a beach boardwalk in the Rockaway section of Queens.
A video shot by one of the men involved showed a group of officers tackling a Black man, with one of them putting his arm around his neck as he lay face-down on the boardwalk.
In the video, someone yells, “Stop choking him, bro!” The officer relaxes his grip after a fellow officer taps him and pulls on his shirt.
It was unclear whether the man who was tackled suffered more than superficial injuries. He stood under his own power after he got off the ground and refused to let medics examine him after the incident.
The NYPD has long banned chokeholds. Their use has been especially fraught since the 2014 death of Eric Garner after an officer put him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law a sweeping package of police accountability measures including a ban on chokeholds following protests over George Floyd’s killing.