Story at a glance
- A nearly 90-second cellphone video taken by a bystander during the May 18 incident shows three officers trying to take a man into custody. One officer is seen kneeling on the head and neck of the man.
- Police said the man was resisting arrest at the time. Helicopter video shows the man struggling with two officers.
- The Sarasota officer has been put on administrative leave as an internal investigation is underway.
A Florida police officer is on administrative leave and is the subject of an internal investigation after a video posted to social media showed him kneeling on a black man’s neck during a May arrest, according to WFTS.
A nearly 90-second cellphone video taken by a bystander during the May 18 incident shows several officers trying to take a man into custody. One officer is seen kneeling on the head and neck of the man.
“As I’m yelling, and asking why am I being detained, he started putting his knee on my neck,” Patrick Carroll, 27, told WFTS during an interview. “While he’s saying I’m resisting I’m just moving around so I can have circulation in my body and my throat.”
Carroll said he suffers from asthma and scoliosis and had trouble breathing.
To continue transparency involving the arrest of an individual on May 18th in @CityofSarasota, we want to share with you unedited video from @SarasotaSheriff. Our Internal Affairs investigation continues. At this time, one Officer remains on admin leave. https://t.co/1SUz6vOYIT— Sarasota Police Department (@SarasotaPD) June 2, 2020
The Sarasota Police Department said they were called to the area due to a domestic issue, and Carroll was arrested on domestic violence/battery charges, possessing possible ammunition by a Florida convicted felon and resisting law enforcement officers without violence, WFTS reports.
One of the officers involved says after they placed Carroll in handcuffs, he attempted to pull away and refused to get into the patrol car. Officers then used “minor force” to get Carroll to the ground and secure him long enough for him to calm down, according to a police incident report reported by CNN.
The cell phone video was posted to social media Monday by Carroll’s mother. The police department said there was no complaint made about the incident when it took place, and they were unaware of it until they were tagged in the video.
The police department says the officer in the video was placed on administrative leave and an investigation was opened when the police chief viewed the footage. The department also released helicopter footage of the incident showing officers responding to the scene and taking Carroll into custody after a struggle.
“Chief Dipino was disturbed to see an officer kneeling on the head and neck of an individual in the video. While it appears the officer eventually moves his leg to the individual's back, this tactic is not taught, used or advocated by our agency,” a statement from the Sarasota Police Department read. Carroll did not seek medical attention or complain of his injuries during the incident, police said.
The cellphone video was posted to social media as protests all across the country have gone on for days following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Video of the incident involving Floyd sparked widespread outrage and brought the issue of racial injustice to the national forefront after a former Minneapolis police officer was shown kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he was pinned to the ground.
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