NYPD Officer Suspended, May Face Criminal Charges for Chokehold Assault

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[NYPD\Officer David Afandor\Ricky Bellevue]
Afanador was involved in eight incidents that were the subject of complaints to the city’s police watchdog agency since joining the police department in 2005, according to records obtained Monday under a new state law making disciplinary files public.
Photo: YouTube

The NYPD brutality on Black bodies continues as Officer David Afanador choked 35-year old Ricky Bellevue, on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk Sunday.

A New York City police officer suspended from duty after he was recorded Sunday putting a man in what the police commissioner said was a banned chokehold could face criminal charges for the second time in his career.

Queens prosecutors said Monday they’ve opened an investigation into Officer David Afanador’s actions on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach, adding that “there must be zero tolerance for police misconduct.”

Afanador was acquitted in a previous case stemming from allegations he pistol-whipped a teenage suspect in Brooklyn and broke two of his teeth.

The police department moved quickly to suspend Afanador without pay after Sunday’s confrontation. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced his suspension just hours after video was posted on social media and called the swift action a sign of “unprecedented times.”

“I think we have an obligation to act swiftly but we also have to get it right and to inform the public about what’s going on,” Shea told TV station NY1 on Monday.

It’s at least the second time Afanador has been suspended from the force. The officer was sidelined after his 2014 arrest, only to return to duty after a judge acquitted him and his partner of all charges in 2016.

In that case, Afanador was seen on video using his gun to hit a 16-year-old boy during a marijuana bust. The beating continued until the boy dropped to the ground and was handcuffed. That altercation, which came six weeks after the police chokehold death of Eric Garner, also made headlines.

Afanador was involved in eight incidents that were the subject of complaints to the city’s police watchdog agency since joining the police department in 2005, according to records obtained Monday under a new state law making disciplinary files public.

They ranged from using discourteous language to using physical force and refusing to seek medical treatment. All of the allegations to the city’s Civilian Complaint Review were either unsubstantiated or led to exoneration except for the ones stemming from the altercation that led to his arrest.

In Sunday’s incident, in the wake of protests over George Floyd’s killing by police in Minneapolis, a video shot by one of the men involved in the altercation showed officers tackling a Black man and Afanador putting his arm around the man’s neck as he lay face down on the boardwalk. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz has declined to prosecute any charges against the man.

For the rest of this AP News story log on to: https://apnews.com/4be1d78d3bfb5ad0afbc19b1226c68b8

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