Pennsylvania residents are demanding answers after a harrowing video emerged this weekend of an Allentown police officer kneeling on a man’s neck.
Scores of protesters took to the streets Saturday and Sunday to seek justice from the Allentown Police Department and Mayor Ray O’Connell, the Morning Call reported. The cell-phone video, which began circulating online Saturday night, captures officers arresting a man earlier that day outside St. Luke’s Hospital-Sacred Heart, the outlet continued.
One officer is shown holding the man down with his knee, evoking images similar to those of George Floyd’s killing, an unarmed black man who died while in white police custody.
The video went viral after it was posted to the Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley social media accounts.
You can watch the video on the group’s Twitter page here.
The incident has now sparked area-wide protests, according to the Morning Call.
According to The Call, Executive Director of Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley Hasshan Batts “issued a call to action in a live Facebook video.”
“What are the consequences for killing us?” he captioned the video.
The Call reported that both O’Connell and Allentown police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. attended the protest Saturday and confirmed they had seen the video.
O’Connell called the video “disturbing,” but told protesters, “I think we need to gather all the facts and information before we go forward,” the outlet said.
Granitz confirmed that there will be an investigation.
“We’re going to take a look at it. We’re going to go through everything. And we’re going to give you an update as soon as we can,” Granitz responded, according to The Call.
The chief did not provide details on the man’s condition or the name of the officer shown.
Heavy has reached out to the department for more information.
Here’s what we know so far:
The Video Was Recorded by a Passerby in a Car
According to CBS Philly, a person driving by the arrest filmed the video on their cell phone.
The 30-second footage shows Allentown police holding a man face-down in the pavement. Within 7 seconds of the clip, an officer appears to put his shoulder and elbow on the man’s back before pressing his knee on his neck.
This is the same use-of-force used by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during Floyd’s May arrest. Chauvin sparked global Black Lives Matter demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustices.
Police Haven’t Released the Body Cam Footage
Black Lives Matter to the Lehigh Valley is calling on the police department to release more information surrounding the arrest, including any body cam footage.
CBS Philly reported that the department released earlier this month its use of force policy, which bans choke holds and neck restraints like the one seen in the video.