NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An arrest in Queens is causing outrage.
The NYPD‘s Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating after an officer is seen on video possibly using an illegal chokehold, CBS2’S Cory James reported Sunday.
Protesters were out in Rockaway Beach not long after that video was released.
Sources told CBS2 the NYPD got reports of a man allegedly acting disorderly on the boardwalk at 113th Street at around 9 a.m. on Sunday.
When officers from the 100th Precinct arrived on the scene they say they approached the man and he became combative and then resisted being taken into custody.
Video shows a chaotic scene unfolding on the boardwalk. Several officers are seen on top of the man and one appears to have his arm wrapped around the man’s neck.
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Richard Talcott watched it unfold after he says officers showed up over loud music.
“Next thing you know they are over there tackling this kid Ricky that I had just met,” Talcott said. “It’s just crazy, bro. Like, I don’t have no other ways to describe and I wouldn’t want anybody else’s to go through that and you can’t do anything besides record it like when you clearly see that’s wrong.”
The man, who sources said is 35, has been identified by his attorney, Lori Zeno, as Ricky Bellevue. Zeno said it is clear the officer was performing a chokehold, which has been banned in New York.
“He’s an idiot. That’s my reaction. He’s an idiot. And he’s a bad cop and he needs to go. He needs to get fired. And not only fired, he needs to get prosecuted,” Zeno said.
Sources said that officer is David Afanador. Back in 2014, he was charged with assault for allegedly beating a teenaged drug suspect he was trying to arrest. But he was found not guilty at a bench trial in a Brooklyn court in 2016.
In a statement, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, “Accountability in policing is essential. After a swift investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, a police officer involved in a disturbing apparent chokehold incident in Queens has been suspended without pay.
“While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary. We are committed to transparency as this process continues,” he added.
Bellevue’s attorney said he was taken to St. John’s Hospital, where he was treated for a laceration on his head and released. She also said he is facing two misdemeanors, for resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental justice, and a violation for disorderly conduct.