Image only for representation
Activists against police brutality expressed outrage and demanded accountability Monday after video emerged over the weekend of an officer placing his knee on a man’s head and neck area outside a Pennsylvania hospital.
Allentown police released a much longer surveillance video of the incident that showed the officer putting his knee on the man's head and neck area twice while he was being restrained a few steps from the emergency room entrance — the first time for eight seconds, the second for 20 seconds.
The man appeared to be "suffering from a medical, mental health or drug and alcohol crisis,” police said in a statement late on Monday.
George Floyd. File photo
Police violated their own policy against neck restraints when an officer used his knee to bear down on the man's head, activists said, while the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania called it an illegal use of force.
Hundreds of people marched in downtown Allentown on Monday night, calling for the officer to be fired and police funds to be reallocated to education, mental health and other social services.
"These police officers should not have been restraining him. He needed help,” said protester Maegan Llerena. "Not even two months after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, there was a knee on the neck of a man in front of a hospital. What is that? Can someone explain that to me?”
Police launched an internal probe.
The videotaped incident occurred nearly seven weeks after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a Black man, for nearly eight minutes. Floyd’s death in police custody sparked global protests over police brutality and racial injustice.Associated Press
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