After an incident where a police officer has been suspended for an apparent chokehold in New York City, the Queens District Attorney’s Office has stated that they will not prosecute a man who was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct over the weekend, according to The New York Daily News.
The police officer, David Afanador, was swiftly suspended without pay after the video was released.
On Sunday afternoon at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York, Ricky Bellevue, 35, was pinned to the ground by Officer David Afanador and other officers after a tense exchange between the parties. Afanador was seen choking Bellevue as he was laying on the ground on the boardwalk. The incident took place at 8:45 AM near Beach 113th St and Ocean Promenade in Rockaway Beach in the NYPD’s 100th Precinct.
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“While a full investigation is still underway, there is no question in my mind that this immediate action is necessary,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said. “We are committed to transparency as this process continues.”
Mayor de Blasio made a statement via Twitter regarding the situation.
Today was the fastest I have EVER seen the NYPD act to discipline an officer. Within hours:
Body camera footage released
Discipline process initiated
This is how it needs to be. https://t.co/Ma7f6nd7HL
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 22, 2020
The Queens District Attorney is not going to charge Bellevue, who faced possible charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, and resisting arrest, Bellevue’s lawyer, Stan Khaldarov stated.
But the attorney did mention that they are pursuing felony assault charges against Afanador.
“The chokehold has been ruled as an illegal move in the state of New York, and it’s clear on the video that he had him in a chokehold,” Khaldarov said. “So there’s no discussion to be made. I don’t care if my client did anything aggressive towards the cop, he has the protocols he has to follow.”
Afanador has been with the NYPD for 15 years and this isn’t the first time he has faced trouble for alleged illegal activity. He had faced up to seven years in prison on charges of second-degree assault when he arrested a 16-year-old boy back in 2014.
A video showed Afanador hit the teenager, Kaheem Tribble, with his gun, striking him in the mouth, breaking his two bottom teeth. According to the NY Post, Afanador beat the charges as he was found not guilty.