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Another apparent chokehold video surfaces
Another video in which police officers appear to punch a man and put him in a chokehold while in the process of making an arrest circulated online Wednesday, less than a week after a 43-year-old Staten Island man died in police custody.
Police said they are investigating the video in which 22-year-old Ronalds Johns is allegedly punched in the face several times by an officer in an East Harlem subway station on July 14.
Johns was charged with theft of services -- for allegedly entering the station without paying -- resisting arrest and criminal trespass, according to court records. He allegedly refused to provide identification, court records said, and officers had to use pepper spray to subdue him.
The arrest, police said, is under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau. Johns' attorney could not be reached for comment.
In the video, which is in two parts, Johns is being held on the ground of 125th Street station while one officer attempts to put handcuffs on him. A second officer appears to hit Johns in his face and tells him to "stop resisting" as several bystanders scream "why do you have to hit him?"
The same officer then appears to put Johns in a chokehold, with both arms wrapped around his neck, and tells Johns to "put your hands behind your back." Several splatters of red can be seen on the ground beneath Johns' face.
The practice of chokeholds has been banned in the NYPD for many years. The video went public after it was sent to a community activist and posted to Facebook.
"You're holding his head," one bystander can be heard saying. "Relax man. You're partner is telling let him go."
On Thursday, Staten Island father Eric Garner, 43, died shortly after several officers tried to arrest him for allegedly selling individual, untaxed cigarettes. One officer, Daniel Pantaleo, allegedly placed Garner, who was overweight, in a chokehold.
His badge and gun were taken away and was he placed on modified duty after the incident, police have said.
On Tuesday Police Commissioner William Bratton ordered a "top to bottom" review of all department training practices and use of force procedures. Bratton said he is sending a group to Los Angeles, where he led the LAPD for several years, to study their tactics.
"The department really does need to do a lot more, a lot more, in the area of training," Bratton said at a media briefing. "I would anticipate that coming out of this effort that there will be a retraining of every member of the New York City Police Department in the weeks, months and potential years ahead."
On Wednesday, Lynch said in a statement the PBA is "supportive" of the retraining efforts, but added "what we don't need is training that only tells us what we can't do when a person resists arrest."
A second, unidentified officer who was present during the incident, was also placed on desk duty. As part of the investigation, the two EMT's and two paramedics from Richmond University Medical Center who responded to the incident were suspended without pay and barred from responding to 911 calls, said a hospital spokeswoman.
In the incident, which was also caught on video, Garner was adamant about not being arrested before Pantaleo allegedly put him in a chokehold. Garner's head and body are then held to the pavement and he can be heard repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe."
Pantaleo has been embroiled in civil rights litigation before, according to court records.