Black Lives Matter protesters have taken the streets of Allentown, Philadelphia after the controversial arrest of a police officer kneeling on a man’a neck.
The 24-seconds video footage captured the incident taking place outside of St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital on Saturday afternoon. An Allentown police officer holds a man down with his face in the pavement, while another officer places his knee on the man’s neck.
The video has prompted a protest in the area led by Black Lives Matter in Lehigh Valley. The mayor Ray O’Connell and police chief Glen Grannitz made an appearance to help ease the tension.
“We’re done,” Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley leader Justan Parker said. “People think that it couldn’t happen here and it has been happening and it happened yesterday. So enough is enough.”
“My takeaway from the video is that Black and Brown lives don’t matter to APD or to the city,” Parker added.
Earlier in July police released a statement on the department’s ban against chokeholds and neck restraints like the one used in the video. However, in part it says only necessary and resonance force can be used to control the situation or overcome resistance to arrest, which can be determined by the police officers involved.
“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,” Parker said. “So what are we doing here? What was the point in releasing it if we’re not going to adhere to it?”
Saturday’s arrest remains vague but people are demanding answers. Police have yet released information or the victims name. Bodycam footage has also not been released.
The arrest did catch the attention of attorney Ben Crump, who represents George Floyd’s family. “@AllentownPolice held down this man’s face to the pavement and then one of its officers placed their knee on his neck!! This happened yesterday and is exactly what led to #GeorgeFloyd’s death. We need this officer’s name and badge # NOW. #ICantBreathe,” he said on Twitter.
As for now Black Lives Matter in Lehigh Valley are still demanding information and will continue to protest.
GRAPHIC VIDEO: @AllentownPolice held down this man’s face to the pavement and then one of its officers placed their knee on his neck!! This happened yesterday and is exactly what led to #GeorgeFloyd’s death. We need this officer’s name and badge # NOW. #ICantBreathe pic.twitter.com/3qSlKGSgF4
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) July 12, 2020