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A New Video Shows An Officer Putting His Knee On A Man’s Neck While Trying To Get Him To An Emergency Room

The Allentown police officer put his knee on the man's neck while he appeared to suffer from a "medical, mental health, or drug and alcohol crisis," authorities said.

Posted on July 14, 2020, at 12:40 p.m. ET

Allentown Police Department

New video released by a police department in Pennsylvania shows an officer put his knee on a man’s neck while trying to take him to an emergency room as the man was suffering from "a medical, mental health or drug and alcohol crisis," authorities said.

A bystander's short video of the incident that took place on Saturday was widely shared over the weekend, prompting a protest in the city of Allentown.

On Monday, the Allentown Police Department released a nine-minute surveillance video that showed the "distressed" man vomiting several times outside St. Luke's Hospital-Sacred Heart.

Police said officers who were there on an unrelated manner restrained the man in an attempt to take him to the emergency room.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the incident. The man and the officers were not identified by the police department.

Allentown Police Department / Via allentownpa.gov

The video shows the man appearing to vomit several times, drop his cellphone, and have "trouble walking and standing," police said.

Two officers who were outside the hospital on an unrelated matter then begin to communicate with the man and try to direct him to the emergency room, according to the department.

The man gets down on his knees at one point as the officers begin to restrain him, the video shows. A hospital employee hands over a "breathable spit mask" to the officers to be placed over the man's head.

Allentown police Chief Glenn Granitz said in a statement to news outlets that the man's "erratic behavior" led to the physical interaction with the officers and hospital staff.

"The individual began to yell, scream and spit at the officers and hospital staff," Granitz said, adding that the "all parties fell to the ground" as officers tried to restrain him.

"The individual continued to be noncompliant which required officers to restrain the individual and the hospital applied a spit shield," the chief said. The spit mask, placed over the man's head, was to protect hospital staff and the officers from coming into contact with the man's vomit and saliva, police said.

While three officers were restraining the man, the video showed one of the officers putting his knee on the man's neck and head for approximately eight seconds.

Officers are prohibited from using "neck restraints" and chokeholds, according to the Allentown Police Department's use of force policy, which was recently made public. The only exceptions to the prohibition are to prevent "imminent death or serious bodily injury" to a member or citizen, the policy says.

George Floyd was killed in May when a Minneapolis police officer was caught on video using a knee chokehold while arresting him. Floyd's death sparked nationwide and global protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

The man was escorted into the hospital by officers and hospital staff. He received treatment and was later released, according to authorities.

The Lehigh County District Attorney is investigating the incident and is expected to release a statement once the review is complete, police said.

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