Video shows Allentown police officer putting a knee on a man’s neck

Written by on July 13, 2020

Video shows Allentown police officer putting a knee on a man’s neck

By Tyler Pratt

July 13, 2020

Screenshot from the video shared Saturday on social media. Second later, one of the officers can be seen using his elbow and then his knee to keep the man restrained.

A video shot outside of St. Lukes Hospital in Allentown shows a police officer kneeling on a person’s neck. The city says the officer was responding to a mental health crisis. But as WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports, the incident comes a week after the city stated it doesn’t allow police to use that type of force. 

The short video shot Saturday evening shows a man lying on the ground screaming as officers hold him down. An officer then pressed his elbow and then his knee into the man’s neck. Justan Parker of the area’s Black Live Matter chapter posted the video on Twitter. 

“You can see the guy is on the edge of the sidewalk and so i’m like, oh my gosh are they going to break his neck is he going to be injured. His hands are tied behind his back,” said Parker.

Police say the man was admitted to the hospital, later released . A public statement says the department and the DA are investigating the incident and expect to release more information later in the week. But the incident comes after a month of demands from Black Lives Matter and the public that the department share its use of force policy, which it posted at the beginning of July – and states use of neck restraint is prohibited. 

“I just really feel like it’s a slap in the face from the city from the chief of police from the mayor. That we have these conversations and we had these assurances that Allentown was on the right side of history and the right side of the cause and then we see this happen.”

Protests of police brutality occurred over the weekend and more are expected to continue this week. 

WLVR also spoke with Kayla Dwyer, a reporter for The Morning Call, who was at the protests in Allentown Saturday night after the video went viral online.

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