Chokeholds by police officers have been banned in New York, so it is illegal for the New York Police Department to use them. Even so, an officer recently used one on a man in the city, making it so that he apparently could not breathe. The man died as a result. That officer has now lost both his gun and his badge as the department took action.
Videos from the incident show the man being held by the officer and saying that he can’t breathe. Even when he tells the officer this, the man does not release him. The thing that some people have taken most offense to, including one prominent pastor who spoke on the subject, is that there are other officers in the area as well, and they do nothing to stop it. That pastor said that those other officers shared some responsibility for which they needed to be accountable.
For the sake of fairness, it is worth noting that the cause of death for the man has not technically been announced as of yet.
This is not that officer’s first run-in with the law, it would seem. He has been sued by three other men over the years. They claim that he has made unlawful arrests that they think are connected to race. The man who died after the officer choked him was of African American decent.
People in New York must remember that police misconduct is itself illegal. If they feel that their rights have been violated, they may want to explore exactly what those rights are and the legal options that they have to take action, even against officers of the law.
Source: Huffington Post, “NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo Stripped Of Gun, Badge After Chokehold Death” VERENA DOBNIK, Jul. 20, 2014