Latest in a series of posts responding to the George Floyd killing
Allentown police on Monday released a nine-minute video showing a man kneeling, then objecting when officers put their hands on him before they forcefully restrained him, with one officer kneeling on the man’s head, near his neck, Saturday outside St. Luke’s Hospital-Sacred Heart.
The video was posted on the police department’s website as the city tries to quickly investigate the encounter, 23 seconds of which were caught on a video posted on social media Saturday. That footage showed the officer kneeling on the man, in a hold similar to the one that killed George Floyd when he was arrested by Minneapolis police. The Saturday video sparked protests in Allentown.
The video released Monday, taken from across the street from the hospital, shows the man walking slowly, almost staggering, on the road in front of the hospital and experiencing what police said appears to be a mental health crisis or drug or alcohol impairment. The officers were at the hospital on another matter when they noticed him.
The video shows the man appearing to vomit several times as he comes onto the sidewalk, drop his cellphone and have trouble walking and standing. The police gesture toward the emergency room entrance, suggesting he should go inside.
The video shows the man straighten up after he finishes vomiting. He then staggers backward into the road and an approaching car swerves around him. He then starts walking away from the officers, in the direction from which he had come, but then turns back.
About four minutes into the silent video, the man seems to gesture to two officers with his arms outstretched as they approach. As they get close, he kneels down, with his hands clasped beneath his chin before continuing to gesture and point. He briefly starts to rise to his feet, then kneels again as they come closer. He also appears to be talking to several hospital staff outside. When the officers try to pull his hands behind him, he tries to pull away.
Almost five minutes into the video, one of the officers appears to trip the man to bring him to the ground. He falls to the ground and police quickly kneel at his side to restrain him.
Shortly thereafter comes the scene caught in the video that was posted to social media, where an officer kneels on the man’s head, near his neck, for about eight seconds.
The video continues afterward, showing a spit mask being placed over the man’s head. The final minutes of the video show police and hospital staff escorting the man into the hospital, where police said he was treated and then released.