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Cop Seen on Video Choking Man in Rockaways Arrested, Faces 7 Years in Prison

Screenshot of Body Cam Footage (Youtube/NYPD)

June 25, By Christian Murray

The police officer who was caught on video placing a man in a chokehold in Far Rockaway Sunday has been arrested and now faces up to 7 years in prison.

Police Officer David Afanador, who was suspended by the NYPD hours after the video went viral, has been charged with attempted aggravated strangulation and strangulation in the second degree for allegedly using a banned chokehold on a man during an arrest Sunday morning.

The chokehold caused the victim to lose consciousness.

The incident took place less than two weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act criminalizing this maneuver when used in a life-threatening way.

“The ink from the pen that Governor Cuomo used to sign this legislation was barely dry before this officer allegedly employed the very tactic the new law was designed to prohibit,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “Police officers are entrusted to serve and protect and the conduct alleged here cannot be tolerated. This police officer is now a defendant and is accused of using a chokehold, a maneuver we know has been lethal.”

The incident took place shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday on the boardwalk near the beach in Far Rockaway.

Afanador and several other offices responded to a call of someone screaming and yelling at people on the boardwalk.

The officers encountered three men who proceeded to taunt and heckle them and then started to record the reaction of the officers. Rick Bellevue, one of the three men, then asked the officers if they were scared and appeared to grab a can from a trash receptacle.

That’s when four officers grabbed Bellevue, including Afanador, who allegedly wrapped his arm around Bellevue’s neck and pinned him to the ground.

Afanador allegedly continued the chokehold as other officers handcuffed Bellevue. The video recording then shows Bellevue’s body go limp and him losing consciousness.

Afanador, according to the District Attorney’s office, only removed his arm after being prompted by another cop.

The NYPD body camera footage on the officer shows the cops being cursed at and badgered. However, Katz says, officers are required to exercise restraint and are required to deescalate such conflicts.

Afanador is currently awaiting arraignment in Queens County Court.

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15 Comments

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Tree of Liberty

These cops don’t learn. They have been told not to use a chokehold anymore. Are they not issued tools to do their job like a night stick or blackjack Use them.

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Anon

The use of night sticks is heavily frowned upon. The new way of getting uncooperative suspects into cuffs is to do the following:
1) cross your arms in front of your chest
2) nod your head forward vigorously
If steps one and two do not work officers are to try step three:
3) use a phrase (preferably one that rhymes) that ends with “put the subject into cuffs”.
4) twitch your nose
If these methods do not work officers are to apologize for bothering the subject and take him / her / they / ( never assume someone else’s pronoun)for ice cream.

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Amy

On Wed June 24 , I was at RiteAid in Woodside near 61 St. When I heard a cashier asking a a man (dark skineed) to put his mask on . The obscenities & foul language that came out of his mouth were disgusting. He kept shouting and refused to cover his face. Why do you have to act like this . Why ??? I left the store bc I didnt feel safe
And I did not want to be in that environment.
What is going on ?

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Samantha

The hatred and anti Gay slurs coming from these people,this city is truly going backwards.

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You've got to be kidding

Is that all you got from this story? I’m gay and, while I despise hearing that word being used as an insult, I’m much, much more disturbed by the fact that cops in New York believe they can choke people to the point of blacking out and arrest them just for being rude.

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Clarice Washington

The lives of black people and Black Lives Matter are two completely different things. BLM is a communist/marxist political organization. The lives of black people are obviously precious… just like everyone else’s live. This is not a race issue as much as its a tyrannical issue. Government is coming down hard on a minority through the police. It’s the bully government that’s the issue not white people or conservative middle class blacks.

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Lol you actually believe that

protesting the murder of George Floyd by police is…Marxism? 😂 Omg do you have any idea what that means

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Lol you actually didn’t know that.

No the BLM organization is a Marxist group. Founded by and led by self described Marxists.

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Agreed, they were NOT founded by and led by "self described Marxists," you were wrong

Thanks for providing proof: NOWHERE do they describe themselves that way.

So you were completely wrong, it’s completely false they are “self described Marxists.” Bigly Sad!

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