The Lehigh County District Attorney's Office has launched an investigation following the sharing of widely condemned footage showing an Allentown Police Department officer forcing his knee into a man's neck to restrain him.
As a regional Pennsylvania CBS outlet points out, the department claims its policy includes a ban on neck restraints and chokeholds. Its use-of-force policy, notably, was released to the public following a push from the city council and states the following:
Use of neck restraints or similar weaponless control techniques (chokeholds) is prohibited. Preventing imminent death or serious bodily injury to a member or citizen is the only possible exception to the prohibition.
The video in question was taken on Saturday night outside St. Luke's Sacred Heart Hospital. According to the report, the department claims the man had been seen "vomiting and staggering" outside the hospital prior to being confronted by the officers. After being restrained by the officers, the man—whose name had not been made public at the time of this writing—was treated at the hospital. He was later released.
The footage, which was highlighted on Sunday by civil rights advocate and prominent attorney Ben Crump, spawned local protests and is also the subject of an internal investigation handled by the Allentown Police Department.
As Crump and others have noted, the methods used by Allentown police are the exact same methods of brutality at the center of George Floyd's murder earlier this year.