NYPD Officer Charged With Using Forbidden Strangulation

NEW YORK (AP) – Moving quickly amid global fury over police misconduct, New York City prosecutors on Thursday laid criminal charges against a videotaped policeman putting a black man in what they called forbidden strangulation.

Officer David Afanador pleaded not guilty Thursday to strangulation and attempted strangulation charge following the clash Sunday on a Queens Beach promenade. He was released without bail.

This is the second time that Afanador, 39, has faced criminal charges for alleged brutality in the police force in 15 years. In 2016, he was acquitted of having whipped a suspect teenager with the gun and broke two teeth.


Afanador’s lawyer said his client was facing a rush to court following protests over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and public pressure to hold the police accountable for the alleged misconduct. Floyd was killed a month to the day before Afanador’s arrest.

“It has become fashionable for prosecutors to make summary arrests of police without a thorough and thorough investigation,” said lawyer Stephen Worth. “The concept of due process seems to come out of the window.”

NYPD Suspended Afanador Unpaid After Cell Phone Video Showing Officers Attacking Ricky Bellevue and Afanador, 35, Putting His Arm Around Bellevue Neck While Lying Face Down on the promenade.

Body camera images released Sunday evening by police showed that for at least 11 minutes before the Bellevue attack, he and two other men – one of whom filmed the cell phone video – shouted insults at the police , who begged them to move away.

After suspending Afanador, police commissioner Dermot Shea said on Monday that the police had acted with “extreme restraint” and that the men laughing at sometimes foul language should also be sentenced.

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“But at the end of this story, an officer put his hand around a person’s neck, and that (officer) was treated quickly and suspended,” said Shea.

Bellevue’s attorney Sanford Rubenstein said in a statement that the arrest of Afanador was “the first step in getting justice for Ricky Bellevue”.

“The next step is for this police officer to be sentenced and sentenced to prison,” said Rubenstein.

Chokeholds have been banned by the New York Police Service for years. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a measure banning them across the state.

“The ink on the pen that Governor Cuomo used to sign this legislation was barely dry before this officer used the tactics that the new law was supposed to prohibit,” Melinda Katz told Afanador district attorney.

The problem of suffocation has been particularly difficult since the death of Eric Garner after an officer placed him in a suffocation in 2014. In this case, a grand jury refused to charge the officer involved. A federal civil rights investigation has also ended without any charges being laid.


Afanador is the second NYPD officer to face brutality charges this month.

Officer Vincent D’Andraia pleaded not guilty on June 9 to assault and other charges a few days after a spectator recorded him violently pushing protester Dounya Zayer to the ground during demonstrations on the death of Floyd, the hitting his head on the sidewalk.

Zayer, who testified last week at a police violence hearing, said she suffered from constant migraines and had trouble keeping food since May 29 when she left her with a crisis and concussion.

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“Where are the good cops I keep hearing about?” Said Zayer.

Source: AP News

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