NYPD Accused Of Using Chokehold On Suspected Farebeater Ronald Johns

Several videos posted online appear to show a New York City police officer using a chokehold on a suspected farebeater in an incident that took place just days before Staten Island resident Eric Garner died during a similar arrest last week.

Ronald Johns, 22, was arrested for allegedly sneaking through the emergency exit at a subway station, the New York Daily News reports.

Internal Affairs is reportedly investigating the incident. The two officers say they were injured and are on medical leave, according to CBS New York.

Two of the videos were posted on Facebook by minister and activist Kelmy Rodriquez, who says he is looking for witnesses:

In the clip, Johns appears to resist arrest after the officers detained him. Police say he "flailed his arms and twisted his body to prevent Officer [Colin] McGuire from putting handcuffs on him," according to a criminal complaint cited by DNAInfo. Police say Johns also refused to show identification.

A second clip shows Johns being cuffed, and there is blood on the ground. His face is glistening, apparently from pepper spray, and he seems to have difficulty opening his eyes:

In the videos, bystanders can be heard complaining about Johns' treatment.

"He was standing here. That's fucked up," one woman says. "Fucked up. That's fucked up."

"Stop punching him!" a man shouts.

Rodriquez says the incident took place at the 116 Street and Lexington Avenue train station on July 14 at about 3 p.m. Johns was later charged with turnstyle jumping, resisting arrest and trespassing. He was released without bail and is scheduled to face the charges in court in September.

In another incident that was caught on video, Garner, 43, died on July 17 after being placed in an apparent chokehold by a police officer. The medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death. Police say the 350-pound man was selling untaxed cigarettes.

Chokeholds have been banned since 1993 under NYPD rules, but from 2009 through 2013 there were 1,022 complaints about their use brought before the Civilian Complaint Review Board, The New York Times reports.



Police Brutality Incidents