As the city continues to deal with the fallout from the death of Eric Garner, two videos have surfaced that appear to show NYPD officers putting a man in a chokehold, though the move was banned two decades ago. The footage, which was posted on Facebook by East Harlem activist Rev. Kelmy Rodriquez, shows 23-year-old Ronald Johns being arrested at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station on July 14, DNAinfo reports. According to the criminal complaint, Johns was stopped after he entered the station through an exit gate, then refused to show police his identification and “flailed his arms and twisted his body to prevent Officer McGuire from putting handcuffs on him.”
In addition to being put in a chokehold or headlock, the two officers punched and pepper-sprayed Johns. Bystanders are heard shouting, “Why do you have to hit him?” and telling Johns, “Stop resisting so they don’t hit you.”
Johns has been charged with turnstyle jumping, resisting arrest, and trespassing. He was released without bail and is due back in court on September 17.
The two officers say they were injured during the arrest and are on medical leave. The NYPD said on Wednesday that the Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident.