News sources report the NYPD officer who allegedly used an illegal chokehold method during a Queens arrest has surrendered to police. It’s also being reported that officer David Afanador will face charges for strangulation and attempted strangulation.
BREAKING: The NYPD officer accused of putting a man in a chokehold in Queens last weekend has turned himself in, says the Queens DA. David Afanador is expected to face multiple charges including strangulation in the second degree. Stay with NY1 for updates.
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 25, 2020
Luckily cell phone footage was able to capture what happened. In the video, you see 35-year-old Ricky Bellevue being placed in an illegal chokehold by officer Afanador, as two other officers are on top of Bellevue. You can hear people in the background saying “stop choking him!” Cops were initially responding to a call about a man acting “disorderly” on the boardwalk in Rockaway Beach.
When the video of the incident went viral, police commissioner Dermont Shea announced that “accountability in policing is essential.” It was later announced that Afanador got suspended without pay. Throughout his police career, he has a total of eight complaints against him. Back in 2016, he was acquitted of a felony assault charge during a different arrest.
As far as Bellevue, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz has declined to prosecute him. Bellevue was treated at the hospital and then later released.
Take a look at the disturbing incident:
Earlier this month, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act, which makes it a class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison for an officer to restrict someone’s breathing by applying pressure to someone’s windpipe, seriously injuring or killing them.