Officer David Afanador, 39, has been charged with “attempted strangulation” and “strangulation,” according to a press release from the Queens County prosecutor.
Afanador pleaded not guilty to his indictment in the Queens County Criminal Court on Thursday morning, according to his lawyer Steven Worth.
“It is disturbing that prosecutors are now succumbing to political pressure to make summary arrests a few days after the incident rather than to conduct a full investigation. Everyone seems to be entitled to due process these days, except the police, “Worth told CNN.
Prosecutors Allegate Constable Afanador Continued To Smother Sunday At 35-Year-Old Ricky Bellevue While Other Officers Handcuffed Him, causing him to faint, and Afanador Did Not Release Before Another Police Officer did not shoot Afanador, said the press release.
The strangulation incident exacerbated his previous mental illness, said Rubenstein, and he is being treated for physical and psychological injuries.
“Images of cameras carried on the body show that these police officers were insulted and harassed. However, every day, police find themselves in circumstances that force them to exercise restraint and are accused of defusing potentially volatile conflicts, “said Melinda Katz, district attorney for Queens County. said in a press release issued before the indictment.
Last week, the New York City Council adopted a package of police reform measures, including a formal ban on chokeholds. The bills were passed amid national protests over the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled around his neck for several minutes.
“The ink on the pen that Governor Cuomo used to sign this legislation was barely dry before this officer used the very tactics that the new law aimed to ban,” said Katz.
“The police are responsible for serving and protecting – and the conduct alleged here cannot be tolerated. This policeman is now an accused and is accused of using a strangulation, a maneuver that we know was fatal. This office has no tolerance for police misconduct, “said Katz.
If convicted, Afanador faces up to seven years in prison.
Afanador, suspended without pay since the video was released, has been in the police force for 15 years.
The body camera for the New York incident was released last week as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s instructions. The victim this week was recovering from his injuries.
“The video is very concerning,” said a spokesman for the De Blasio office on Sunday. “We are pleased that the NYPD is immediately launching an investigation to understand what happened. “