Video of another choke hold arrest indicates the banned practice may be more widespread

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- The fatal arrest, recorded on video, of Eric Garner on Staten Island on suspicion of a minor crime has brought new attention to video recorded of another NYPD arrest using some of the same, banned tactics, just days before Garner's fateful detainment.

In the other incident, which was not fatal, at least two videos were posted to Facebook.  They show two officers taking down a young man in the 125th Street subway station on the 4,5,6 train lines on July 14th.  One of the officers punches the arrestee multiple times in the head, including at least once in the face, leaving blood on the floor, as the arrestee resists.

The officer is also seen putting the arrestee in a choke hold, a procedure banned by the NYPD in 1993.

"I was flabbergasted.  I couldn't believe it," said Rev. Kelmy Rodriquez.  The East Harlem community activist said that he'd received a copy of video of the arrest from an anonymous emailer who had heard of Rodriquez's ministry and thought the minister could help the arrestee in some way.

Rodriquez posted the video on Facebook in the hope of finding witnesses to the incident, who might be able to help the community leader file a complaint, and otherwise pursue disciplinary action against the officer.

Since the videos were posted, they've had thousands of views each on Facebook, where Rodriquez and at least one eyewitness to the 3:00 PM arrest a week ago Monday placed their video for viewing.

One eyewitness, Rodriquez told PIX11 News, has since contacted him to describe the process that had led cops to take this man into custody, and had led one of the officers to punch the man and put him in the choke hold.  According to Rodriquez, the eyewitness told him that the man had been detained for fare jumping at the subway stop.  "The officer instructed [the arrestee] to turn around, the arrestee did not comply."

The man seemed to be emotionally disturbed, clinically, Rodriquez said the eyewitness had told him.   "[The arrestee] put his hand in front of [the officer's] face and that's where this ensued."

However, in contrast to the case of Eric Garner, bystanders in the subway arrest video tell the man under arrest to stop putting up a fight.  "Stop resisting, so they don't hit you," one bystander shouts at the arrestee.  "Youngblood," another bystander shouts, "It's over."

One video of the takedown that's been posted, Rodriquez said, looks like the arrestee is resisting.  However, he said, the video he'd been sent contrasts with that.  It indicates, the community activist said, that while the officer tells the arrestee to put his hands behind his back, the officer has one of the arrestee's hands pinned. "That's kind of questionable," Rodriquez said.

The incident elicited a comment from State Senator Bill Perkins, (D) Upper Manhattan, whose district includes the subway stop where the incident took place.  Perkins said in an interview that he supports Mayor Bill de Blasio, and trusts him to take action.

"I'm hopeful that he'll expeditiously make the difference," Sen. Perkins said, "so the choke hold is eliminated, and that we address what's behind the choke hold, and that's racism."

PIX11 News requested comment from the NYPD on this story and on the arrest video, but currently we have received no response.

Both the subway arrest and Eric Garner's arrest were for minor crimes, fare jumping and suspicion of selling loose cigarettes, respectively.  Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has made clear that he and his department are emphasizing a pursuit of minor, quality of life crimes.

Whether or not the arrests of Eric Garner and the unidentified man on the subway indicate that that pursuit is being carried out too aggressively can only be addressed by the commissioner or other representatives of his department.  Again, at this point, the NYPD has made no response.


  • lisa


  • lisa


  • Suzy Hager

    Why in our society are lives becoming so meaningless that over a fare jump or alledged cigarette sale brings violence that could cause death. The only way to stop this is to organize. We pay their salaries. They work for us they shouldn’t be killing us. I wish every body in system island would wear at shirt with Eric’s picture. Let the police know his murder won’t be forgotten or accepted.

  • bobby wiseman

    …Cops used the (3rd) third party to take down a suspect. The use the ground or floor, with the suspect between the cops and the ground or floor. Young guys looking like Hercules, about 5’8″ to 6ft tall. The NY Yankees Star admitted to ‘Roids’ recently. Lance Armstrong and others have used ‘Roids’! Has Officer Panteloe given a urine sample to administration officials yet? If it’s clean, no worries. Or Panteleo could end up on Rikers…

  • bobby wiseman

    …Every knows that a pack of cigarettes, can bring sold as one (1), 4 to 6 bits. In most cities/on most street corners people give away, or sell tobacco products/cigarettes from a 20 pack sold separated a ‘Looseys or Loosies. 5 to 7 cops ganged up on his flat body laying on the ground. One cop had the suspect’s head grinding it into the ground. The cop appears to weigh over 220 pounds. I wonder what the ‘right ear’ of the suspect was like after the weigh of the cop was taken off and the victim was up lifted, to the stretcher? Now, what cost will the city make? Add $15 million and 4 bits to the cost to the city! Was it worth it? Panteleo’s carrier, staying out of Rikers, he and his family ruined, and he can never get a job in law enforcement again-and don’t apply for Fire-Fighters. No way…

  • Bill Mckechnie

    Thank you Dr. garner for your reasonable and credible analysis of what might have transpired with to arrest of Eric Garner . Also congratulations for giving your answers based on your training and personal observations as opposed being baited into giving the answers that the interviewer wanted you to give. You answered on what you saw happened
    a opposed to what you believe happened. To distinctly different things.

  • IncognitoEthos

    For both this case and the Ronald Johns case, what I find more disturbing is that both the “victims” were resisting arrest and not following police instructions. It must be their upbringing because I was always told to do as an officer says and if an officer says for me to put my hands behind my back, I do it. It wasn’t like these two guys were in isolated, dark places where they feared that after the cuffs were put on and despite remaining compliant, they would be beaten and helpless to defend themselves. There were people all around and some with cameras. They suspects were given instructions and both weren’t complying. Eric Garner kept arguing and then when the officers tried to put his arms behind his back to handcuff him, he yanked free repeatedly, demanding that they don’t touch him.

    Sad for a loss of life, but if you don’t want to get in a tussle with the police and end up either injured or worse, then comply with their instructions…or better yet, don’t do things that can get them called on you!

    Officers put their own lives on the line daily for strangers so how can anyone fault them for reacting more aggressively when someone becomes belligerent? Those officers want to get home to their families too. If they under react, then they have the potential to be harmed or for other innocent people to be harmed.

    Had the suspect Eric Garner simply complied, not only would the officers have gone home safely to their families, but the suspect would have as well. Instead, he lays in a coffin, his children losing their father due to the bad choices he made, not due to the NYPD.

    • kevin mennor

      i’m sure these officers gang together and say “i want to choke some black guy today”–you gotta drop them quick if they resist or the officer may end up being hurt or killed.

      • IncognitoEthos

        I presume you are being sarcastic about the cops saying they want to choke some black guy today and as for the rest of your statement, I agree 100%. People demand the cops be diplomatic and cautious, wanting to ensure the suspect/criminal gets home to their family in the end, but they ignore the fact that the cops want the very same thing for themselves. Why is the cops lives worth any less?

        It’s hard to put a value on a human life.but if I HAD to, then I would say the life of the person breaking the law is worth less than the person who puts their own life on the line daily for the safety of others.

  • Justa Major

    Let the blacks keep killing each other. The biggest threat to a black man is another black man. Can someone please explain “Polar bear” hunting aka, the knock out game. They are savages. Can you imagine how many savages there would be without the police. God Bless those guardians in blue.

    • kevin mennor

      what are the parents thinking when they keep having more kids. most can barely take care of themselves.

  • Kevin Simon

    Blacks only represent approximately 12% of the population while committing over 70% of all violent crime. look at Chicago a few weeks ago, 60 people were shot, 11 were stabbed, 15 were killed, in only a single weekend. All the victims were black and all the criminals were black. I am a black man and I agree with Jesse Jackson. When I see a white man behind me, I’m not worried, if I see a black man, then I start to get worried. Let the police do their job.

    • IncognitoEthos

      Kevin, I commend the fact that you stick to facts and statistics to prove points. Many out there resort to simply name calling and overzealous generalizations. Facts are facts.

      What bothers me is when people resort to trying to justify the facts that show the negative aspect of a race by blaming where they come from as the problem. The bottom line is, most (if not nearly all) of these families that raise black children (or other minorities) have access to TV in some way so while they may be seeing out the door, their big brothers shooting someone, they can know from either TV (assuming mom and/or dad aren’t able to be proper parents) or from marginally average intelligent parents teaching them, that shooting and doing gang related activities is wrong.

      My mother’s family are a minority race. Many of their other family members or friends participated in activities such as drug selling, stealing, etc. with the intent to further the family. But my grandparents knew what was happening was wrong and would teach their 8 children to not do those behaviors (and by the way, even though they had 8 children, they NEVER went on public assistance and sometimes worked multiple jobs, some of which were degrading and back then, there weren’t the type of human rights or respect there is in these days. Another big difference with the people of today are that they demand the government take care of them and then take as much as they can even if they don’t really need it).

      In the face of bigotry (yes, my mother was told to sit in the back of the bus with others like her) and starting off so dirt poor, at one point they lived with the church, another time they all lived in a one room over a garage with no running water or indoor plumbing, having to wash their clothes in the creek and take baths in the cold creek water, my grandparents managed to raise all 8 kids to have values and each one have become valuable members of society (lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc.) and they all continued to teach the right values. No, they didn’t jump into 4-year-colleges and perhaps it took them a little longer to graduate because they went through community colleges in the beginning of their education, but they were still able to do it.

      Now, even though my grandparent’s children didn’t have problems with the law, did that mean none of the grandchildren ever had issues with breaking the law? No, it just meant they didn’t commit heinous crimes, more stupid misdemeanor type things (getting into a drunk fight, etc.) and it was out of stupidity and being young and it stopped once they were around 23 years of age (when the brain finally stops developing and common sense and adult accountability is able to set in). I’d also like to point out that when those few children ever were arrested, they DID NOT RESIST ARREST.

      I just feel like, when people say these gangsters/criminals are fighters of some sort and they are just a product of their environments, I find that as a big excuse. My mother was what a fighter really is. She was told all through high school she was too stupid to go to college. Then, when she graduated high school, she was told by her father (who did love her very much) that he only had enough money to send the boys to college (remember, this was around 50 years ago and he had 6 boys). So she found her own way to get to college. Then, while there, she was told (by an instructor at the school) that she was too fat and ugly to find a man and that she needed to make sure to get her degree and be a good student. She got her degree and built herself up into a career where she made nearly 70k a year before she retired early due to medical issues. To me THAT is a fighter. These gangsters/criminals that continue to be criminals well into their 30’s (some for the rest of their life) aren’t fighters, they are cowards that hide behind their upbringing which is really no true, valid excuse at all.

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