A new video showing the arrest of an alleged Manhattan subway farebeater purports to show a police officer using a chokehold to subdue the suspect, a prohibited police tactic that's sparked outrage since a Staten Island man died after being put in a similar position last week.
The suspect was arrested at the 125th Street subway station on Lexington Avenue in East Harlem on July 14, just three days before Eric Garner of Staten Island died while in police custody.( Thu Aug 21 04:20:44 PDT 2014 $__output )
Autopsy results are pending in Garner's death, which has sparked protests, a criminal probe and a warning by the Rev. Al Sharpton that Garner's family would explore asking for a federal civil rights investigation.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has since promised that the police department would retrain its officers on the use of force. Department policy prohibits chokeholds during arrests.
In the video of the subway arrest, witnesses are heard shouting at the officers, "Why do you have to hit him?" as one cop punches the alleged fare evader, 23-year-old Ronald Johns, as he wraps his arm around Johns' neck.
The video was posted online by the Rev. Kelmy Rodriquez, who said he received it in an anonymous email. After posting that video, another witness sent him another video of the arrest.
Rodriquez told NBC 4 New York he believes the chokehold should not have been used but noted that the suspect was resisting arrest and said he understood if the officer felt threatened.
The NYPD said its internal affairs department is looking into the video. Johns has been charged with fare-dodging, criminal trespass and resisting arrest.
A funeral for Garner, who was 43, was held in Brooklyn Wednesday.