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Watch: NYPD detective allegedly uses banned chokehold during arrest

The New York Police Department is investigating an incident after surveillance video was released showing a detective allegedly using a chokehold on suspect. (Image source: Vimeo screenshot)

A New York police detective was caught on video allegedly putting a man in a chokehold during an arrest, before repeatedly using a Taser on the suspect.

Chokeholds are prohibited by the department, and the suspect's attorneys want the accused detective suspended.

What happened?

Detective Fabio Nunez and Officer Shanee Pierce responded to a noise complaint in upper Manhattan on July 14, just before midnight. Surveillance video originally released by the New York Daily News shows the two officers speaking with 33-year-old Tomas Medina and two other individuals on a sidewalk, before the situation escalates.

According to Medina's attorney, Nunez placed the suspect's head in a chokehold for 23 seconds.

"Almost cutting my client's circulation and breathing off," Gurmeet Singh told WLNY-TV. "He was put in a situation where it could be termed as life threatening."

Cynthia Conti-Cook, another lawyer for Medina said, "This is obviously an example of excessive force. The officer here went straight for an aggressive body hold."

The Legal Aid Society, which is funding Medina's defense, released a longer clip of the footage on Vimeo showing the suspect's arrest beginning around the 11:30 mark:



Medina told the Daily News that he sustained burn marks across his back from Nunez repeatedly zapping him with a Taser.

Singh and Conti-Cook claim Nunez has already cost the city $260,000 over lawsuit settlements due to past violent arrests, and are demanding action from the NYPD, according to WLNY.

"Investigate the actions of Detective Nunez, find out what happened with the body cameras," Singh said. "How come we don't have body cameras....and suspend Detective Nunez."

The NYPD issued a statement regarding the incident on Monday afternoon, saying: "The suspect physically resisted arrest for a prolonged period of time. One officer was bitten by the suspect. Despite officers' continued attempts to deescalate the situation, the suspect continued to resist the arrest, leaving the officers no choice but to use physical force. The suspect was eventually taken into custody uninjured, internal affairs is investigating."

Anything else?

Four years ago, Eric Garner was killed during an arrest by NYPD officers. Video footage of the incident showed Garner repeatedly saying "I can't breathe" while one officer used a similar chokehold on him.

Garner's last words became a slogan for Black Lives Matter movement.

Last month, the NYPD announced that it would move forward with disciplinary proceedings against Daniel Pantaleo, the officer accused in Garner's death.

One last thing…
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