One would think that literally everything that has occurred over the course of the last few months would result in police officers actively trying to not become the center of yet another viral video. But we’re in dark times, so common sense is out the window, and instead, we have to watch both white folks and law enforcement double down on the behavior that’s got everyone mad at them in the first place.
Such is the case for a group of officers in Allentown, Pa., that according to CBS News, was caught on video placing their elbows and then their knees on a man’s neck while arresting him. The man did not appear to be resisting throughout the duration of the video which was filmed last Saturday night outside of the Sacred Heart Campus of St. Luke’s Hospital. This incident occurred only weeks after the Allentown Police Department released new use of force policy that banned neck restraints and chokeholds.
“It’s really concerning and it’s scary in fact because now that the policy was made public there’s still not a buy-in. So what are we doing here? What was the point in releasing it if we’re not going to adhere to it?” Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley leader Justan Parker told CBS Philly.
Allentown Police released a statement about the incident over the weekend, alleging the officers were at the hospital for another matter when they saw the man in the video vomiting, stumbling in the street and blocking the driveway to the ER. The man allegedly began to yell and spit at the officers and hospital staff who attempted to interact with him. “The individual continued to be noncompliant which required officers to restrain the individual and the hospital applied a spit shield. The male in question was escorted into the hospital for treatment. The male was treated and later released,” the statement read. The police have still not identified the names of anyone captured in the video.
A protest was staged outside the police station on Saturday night by Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley after the video was posted to their Facebook page. The protest was attended by both Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell and Police Chief Glenn Grannitz. O’Connell found the video “disturbing” and both O’Connell and Grannitz believe the matter needs to be investigated. The statement released by Allentown police said more videos of the incident will be released. Still, to some of the protesters, this feels like insufficient baby steps.
“We’re done,” Parker said. “People think that it couldn’t happen here and it has been happening and it happened yesterday. So enough is enough.”