An Allentown, Pennsylvania, police officer is under fire after apparently kneeling on a black man's neck during an arrest that took place outside an area hospital on Saturday night.
What are the details?
According to KYW-TV, police were in the area on an unrelated matter when they witnessed the suspect "vomiting and staggering along the street before making his way onto the emergency room's driveway."
Police say that when officers and hospital staffers approached the man, he reportedly screamed, spat at them, and attempted to run away.
At the time of this writing, it remains unclear whether the unnamed suspect was restrained for a lengthy period of time, or just long enough for the responding officers to outfit the suspect with a spit shield. The department has yet to release bodycam footage of the incident.
Reporter Joshua Crompton shared an official statement about the incident on Sunday, which took place outside St. Luke's Sacred Heart Hospital.
"Officers with the Allentown Police Department were at the Emergency Room Department outside Saint Luke's Hospital — Sacred Heart Campus in the 400 block of W. Chew Street on Saturday, July 11, at approximately 6:42 p.m. While at this location due to an unrelated matter, APD Officers observed a male outside who was vomiting and staggering in the street, eventually stopping in the driveway of the Emergency Room," the statement read.
It continued, "The observed erratic behavior resulted in the officers and hospital staff interacting with the individual. The individual began to yell, scream, and spit at the officers and hospital staff. As the officers attempted to restrain the individual, all parties fell to the ground. The individual continued to be noncompliant, which required officers to restrain the individual and the hospital applied a spit shield."
The statement noted that the suspect was taken inside the hospital for treatment and was later released.
"The investigation into this matter will be reviewed by the Lehigh County District Attorney and an internal investigation of the use of force is being conducted by the Allentown Police Department," the statement added. "The Lehigh County District Attorney will issue a statement when his review is complete, which is not anticipated until later this week."
You can read the rest of the statement below.
#BREAKING @AllentownPolice response to video showing an officer appearing to have his knee on a persons neck.… https://t.co/p1JeJigsVJ— Joshua Crompton (@Joshua Crompton) 1594599782.0
In early July, the Allentown Police Department released its use of force policy, which was published on the department's website.
The policy "specifically bans chokeholds and neck restraints," the station reports.
The police says, in part, that "only necessary and reasonable force can be used to control a situation or overcome resistance to arrest," according to KYW.
Black Lives Matter Lehigh Valley leader Justan Parker warned KYW, "We're done. People think that it couldn't happen here, and it has been happening and it happened yesterday. So enough is enough. My takeaway from the video is that black and brown lives don't matter to [the Allentown Police Department] or to the city."
Parker added, "It's really concerning and it's scary in fact because now that the policy was made public there's still not a buy-in. So what are we doing here? What was the point in releasing it if we're not going to adhere to it?"