Video has emerged of a black man being placed in a headlock by a grocery store owner in Brooklyn, New York, following a series of protests after the death of George Floyd.
The video was posted to social media including Twitter and Facebook. Viewer discretion is advised:
In the video, a man can be seen holding down a black man on the floor of Met Foodmarkets in Brooklyn, New York, on Nostrand and St. Johns in Crown Heights. The man has one arm underneath the restrained black man’s arm, and his other arm reaches underneath the man’s neck. Shoppers in the store can be heard objecting in the background.
Another man who has his arm on the shoulder of the man restraining the black shopper is seen at 1:25 with his foot on the restrained man’s arm and can be heard saying he has “zero tolerance for shoplifters,” but “I don’t see color.”
“We don’t need this because we support the store,” a woman says to the second man.
“Honey, I support everybody in this neighborhood. But when you steal, I have zero tolerance. I don’t see color. You see color because you’re a f**king ignorant, you’re an ignorant, stupid fool.”
Neighbors Filmed the Incident & Organized a Protest Outside the Grocery Store
The video, which was posted by the Crown Heights Tenant Union, was filmed at around 12:15 p.m. on Sunday. According to the Tenant Union, the man was placed in a “chokehold” by the owner of the store on suspicion of shoplifting.
“The police immediately handcuffed our neighbor without questions. We believe our neighbor was arrested and is currently being held at the 77th Precinct on Utica and Bergen. We call for an immediate mobilization to the 77th Precinct on Utica and Bergen to find our neighbor, and will deliberate next steps there,” the Crown Heights Tenant Union said on Facebook.
The man was released from the 77th Precinct shortly after the incident. He was walked home to his family and his shoulder injury was treated by street medics, the Union said.
The Union also said on social media there will be a protest held at 9 a.m. today in front of the grocery store, at Nostrand & St. Johns Place.
Heavy has contacted the NYPD, Crown Heights Tenant Union and grocery store for comment at the time of publication but has yet to receive a response.
Metfood Nostrand Issued a Statement on Instagram
Metfood Nostrand today issued a statement on their Instagram account, saying the “unfortunate incident” involved a “repeated shoplifter” who “became aggressive and assaulted our staff, requiring staff to defend themselves.”
“We understand that our black neighbors are triggered in this moment, especially since the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We stand with black communities in solidarity.”
Police Were Seen Chasing Protesters & Using Batons Over the Weekend in the Vicinity of the Incident
At least 20 protesters were arrested over the weekend at the intersection of Nostrand Avenue and Montgomery Street in Brooklyn. New York journalist Zach Williams posted video of the moment NYPD hit a man with batons. A man can be seen in the video at 0:12 being hit by an officer with a baton from behind as he runs down the street with the officer in pursuit:
Williams posted video of a standoff between police and protesters on Nostrand Avenue, with protesters chanting “get out the way, b***h.”
More information will be posted as this story develops.