New Video Shows Pennsylvania Police Officer Kneeling On Man's Neck

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New Video Shows Pennsylvania Police Officer Kneeling On Man's Neck
Days after the Allentown Police Department officially banned neck restraints, an officer was caught on video kneeling on a man's neck.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

We want to warn you: Some of the footage in this video is graphic.

Nearly a month and half after George Floyd's death, this video from Allentown, Pennsylvania, shows a police officer kneeling on a man's head and neck. The man's head is pressed between the officer’s knee and a raised pavement.

And a witness yells familiar words: "He can't breathe."

This happened right outside the emergency room at St. Luke's Hospital. Newsy reached out to the hospital, which gave no comment. 

The Pennsylvania incident prompted George Floyd's lawyer, Ben Crump, to demand police accountability. On Twitter, he said: "This is exactly what led to George Floyd's death. We need this officer’s name and badge [number] NOW." 

The incident happened just days after Allentown's police department publicly shared its use-of-force policy that clearly bans neck restraints. In a statement, the city's chief of police said officers were on the scene for a separate incident when they noticed the man behaving erratically, describing how "the individual began to yell, scream and spit at the officers and medical staff." He was treated at the hospital and later released.

The Allentown Police Department says it will continue to investigate the matter and will release additional information and video later this week. The Lehigh County district attorney has also launched an investigation.

Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley shared the video and helped organize protests.

Justan Parker, founder, Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley: "When I first saw the video, I was in shock. ... The victim's neck was on the edge of the sidewalk. ... One wrong move, or one more wrong move, because the knee shouldn't have been there to begin with — it could've been over for this person's life." 

Newsy's Cat Sandoval asked: "Were you surprised at all that this happened in Allentown, or was it something that you had expected will eventually happen because it is seen in different places nationally?"

Parker: "Unfortunately, I did expect it to happen. I didn't expect it to happen so soon. ... It's one of those things where it's like, you kind of wait for it to happen and you don't know. And that's the fear. And being a Black man, raising Black children is you don't know when it's going to happen, or if you're a family member, you are going to be that that next, you know, national news story because you lost your life to that." 

As of this broadcast, Newsy cannot verify who the man on the video is nor his condition. 

Cat Sandoval, Newsy, Allentown, Pennsylvania.