Police in Allentown, Pennsylvania have issued a statement saying they are to investigate an incident which was filmed on Saturday by a passer-by and which went viral on social media.
The video shot on Saturday night from a passerby’s vehicle shows Allentown officers restraining a man on the ground outside the emergency room of the Sacred Heart Campus of St. Luke’s Hospital.
An officer has his elbow on the man’s neck before switching to a knee to hold him down, while other officers restrained his arms. The man does not appear to be resisting during the video.
The local Black Lives Matter group has demanded the force suspend the officers involved.
Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley (@BLMlehighvalley)
BREAKING:@AllentownPolice were filmed Saturday evening applying the same force to a resident that the cops used to murder #GeorgeFloyd.
This happened here in #Allentown outside a hospital.
We demand answers. We demand change.
We're Done Dying.#DefundThePolice pic.twitter.com/AbuyvkMNdT
According to the police statement, officers were outside the hospital for an unrelated matter when they saw a man staggering in the street, vomiting and stopping in the driveway of the ER.
The officers and hospital staff interacted with the man, who began to yell and spit at them, police said. The statement said the man was “noncompliant which required officers to restrain” him. It’s unclear from the video how long the officer had his knee of the man’s neck.
The man was treated at the hospital and later released.
Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell described the incident as “disturbing”, and protesters are planning another march to City Hall on Monday evening with community leaders slated as speakers.