Angry Harlem Crowd Claim Police Choked Black Man During Arrest

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Angry witness who gave his first name as Ferguson said police choked man unconscious while arresting him

In a tense Harlem scene an angry crowd yelled at several police officers after they wrestled and pinned a Black man to the ground where he struggled briefly before appearing to lose consciousness, Friday night.

One woman said the man had shoplifted skin lotion from a Duane Reade.

The incident occurred shortly after 7pm as three officers who were soon joined by scores others attempted to arrest the man.

"What are you doing to me? What are you doing to me?" the man could be heard yelling as he was wrestled to the ground where he continued to scream as bystanders shouted at the officers that they were choking him.

"Motherfuckers," one bystander yelled, "you're choking him," someone else screamed, as several people could be heard shouting "get off of him."

One woman unleashed a piercing scream as the man pinned by the officers struggled.

"You stupid motherfuckers!" someone else yelled at police.

"You fucking piece of shit!" another angry bystander yelled.

"He can't fucking breathe!" someone else shouted at the police.

At one point the officers pinning the man to the ground shifted their bodies and the man's head emerged. One officer rolled him on his back and shook what appeared to be a lifeless form. The man's eyes appeared to be bulging and his mouth was open. He had been handcuffed and didn't seem to be moving.

"Oh, he's dead," one bystander yelled, "murder!" someone else yelled as other angry people surged towards the officers who had arrested the man.

Sirens screamed as scores of officers swarmed on the scene and formed a wall between the arresting officers and the angry crowd of about 20 people.

"He told you he had two stents in his chest! He told you he had two stents in his chest," one bystander, yelled at the police officers. He gave only his first name, as Patrick, and said he was a retired police detective; he appeared to be one of the angriest person in the crowd.

Several people who said they witnessed the incident volunteered their phone numbers to a Black Star News reporter. The incident, which occurred right outside the Duane Reade store on 145 Street and Bradhurst Avenue, was recorded by several bystanders.

The man was removed quickly by ambulance from the scene. The Black Star News wasn't able to determine his condition last night.

Calls to the 30 precinct kept routing to voicemail. A spokesperson at 1 Police Plaza told a reporter to call back.

One witness, who gave only her first name as Toya, said the man had shoplifted some items from the Duane Reade store. She too had yelled loudly at the police officers who pinned the man to the ground.

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