Video: Officers put knee on man's neck

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A controversial arrest leads to Black Lives Matter protests in Allentown. The arrest was caught on video and it appears as though the officer is kneeling on the man’s neck.

The video of the arrest was recorded on Saturday afternoon outside of St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital.

“We’re done,” Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley leader Justan Parker said. “People think that it couldn’t happen here and it has been happening and it happened yesterday. So enough is enough.”

The video is only 24 seconds long, however, Parker says it’s reminiscent of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.

In it you see Allentown police holding the man down with his face in the pavement and then one of the officers places their knee on the man’s neck.

“My takeaway from the video is that Black and Brown lives don’t matter to APD or to the city,” Parker said.

Last night, the video prompted a protest in Allentown organized by Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley.

Both Allentown’s Mayor Ray O’Connell and Police Chief Glenn Grannitz showed up at that protests to ease tensions.

As far as we know it ended without incident.

Earlier this month, the police department released its use of force policy.

It specifically bans chokeholds and neck restraints like the one seen in the video.

The policy is available on the department’s website. It was released at the request of the city council. It says in part that only necessary and reasonable force can be used to control a situation or overcome resistance to arrest. It also says officers can determine the degree of force necessary based on the amount of resistance used by the suspect.

“It’s really concerning and it’s scary in fact because now that the policy was made public there’s still not a buy-in,” Parker said. “So what are we doing here? What was the point in releasing it if we’re not going to adhere to it?”

There is a lot that is unclear about this incident, including what led up to the arrest, but people are demanding answers.

Police haven’t released that information or the man’s name and condition.

Bodycam footage has also not been released yet.

Ben Crump, the attorney representing Floyd’s family, wrote on Twitter, “@AllentownPolice held down this man’s face to the pavement and then one of its officers placed their knee on his neck!! This happened yesterday and is exactly what led to #GeorgeFloyd’s death. We need this officer’s name and badge # NOW. #ICantBreathe”

The group Black Lives Matter to the Lehigh Valley is demanding for police to release the information.

Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley is planning more protests later this week.

Allentown police released a statement to Eyewitness News about the incident that reads, in part, “We are aware of this incident and actively investigating it, as we do with all use of force-related incidents.”

Requests for comment from the mayor of Allentown were not returned.


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