The NYPD cop suspended for placing a suspect in an apparent chokehold in Queens is expected to be arrested on Thursday, law enforcement sources said.
Officer David Afanador is expected to turn himself in and face strangulation charges for the filmed encounter that took place Sunday morning on the Rockaway boardwalk.
Afanador, one of four cops involved in the arrest of 35-year-old Ricky Bellevue, had his arm around the man as the other three officers attempted to handcuff him, according to the 29-second clip of the incident shared to social media.
“Yo stop choking him bro!” someone off-screen yells, as Bellevue goes limp.
Another person can be heard saying: “Look, he’s out. Look officer, he’s out,” as one of the cops tells him to “back off.”
But Afanador only lets go of Bellevue’s neck after one of his fellow officers taps him on the back, the footage shows.
The incident came days after the New York City Council made it a criminal offense for cops to use chokeholds.
Afanador was suspended just hours after the encounter and the NYPD swiftly released more than 30 minutes of body-camera footage from the arrest.
The footage shows Bellevue and two others getting angry with the cops over an earlier encounter, not seen in the video.
Police sources said cops were flagged down on the boardwalk around 8:45 a.m. by people who said a man had been throwing objects at them and harassing them.
Bellevue picked up a can from a garbage and threw it at the cops when they approached him, the source said.
In the body-cam footage, Bellevue is seen pulling something out of a trash can and then asking twice if the cops are scared before the officer wearing the camera rushes him.
Afanador can be heard explaining to a female bystander that Bellevue is known to have a mental illness and saying “they’re all obviously intoxicated” about the trio.
“They were all talking all types of crazy stuff to us. We did nothing. I don’t care. Anybody can say whatever they want to us,” he told the woman.
“What changed everything is when he grabbed something and squared off, and was gonna hit my officer who’s standing over there,” Afanador said.
“That’s when everything changed,” he continued. “The minute I saw him flex on him, that’s when he goes down, cause we don’t get hurt and we’re not gonna leave somebody violent out here who might do that to one of you or another innocent person.”
Bellevue was taken to a hospital to be treated for a laceration on his head, the source said, denying he was unconscious.
He can be seen in the body-cam footage speaking following the arrest, telling the cops that he is bipolar and getting on them about arresting him on Father’s Day, saying he has a daughter in Haiti.
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