Tags: George Floyd Protests | Law Enforcement | schenectady | new york | chokehold | arrest | race

Schenectady Cop Kneeling on Man's Neck Sparks Outrage

(The U.K.'s Daily Mail)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 July 2020 05:24 PM

The arrest of a Black man in Schenectady, New York, in which a video taken by his father shows the suspect restrained on the ground before being placed in handcuffs is being compared by the family to the one in which George Floyd died.

Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud, 31, claims a police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck, while the local police chief defended the officer's actions saying he had his knee on the suspect's head to maintain control of someone who was "both actively and passively" resisting arrest, according to the Schenectady Daily Gazette.

The Monday arrest came after police were called to the area to investigate a report of a neighbor of Gaindarpersaud's tires being slashed. When approached for questioning, Gaindarpersaud told the Daily Gazette he turned and walked away.

Police claim Gaindarpersaud "pulled away" from the officer during questioning and fled into his backyard which led to the confrontation.

The video, which lasts just over nine minutes and was posted to Facebook, begins with Gaindarpersaud already on the ground and the father, Jaindra Gaindarpersaud yelling at the unidentified officer: "You got the foot on his head! You've got the foot on his head!"

At times, the father's arm and hand appear in the picture and obscure the view.

The officer yells at the father to back away while also yelling at Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud to put his hands behind his back. At one point, he appears to punch Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud in the side before two fellow officers arrive and help place him in handcuffs, whereupon the officer releases his knee.

"He stopped breathing and he was not moving and when he pinned him to the ground, he was not moving anymore, so I said, 'He's going to die just like George Floyd,'" Jaindra Gaindarpersaud said to the Daily Gazette.

Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud, who was charged with disorderly conduct, said he lost consciousness and awoke in the hospital. Police Chief Eric Clifford disputed that Gaindarpersaud lost consciousness at any time, from when he was arrested, taken to police headquarters, evaluated by medics, and then transported to the hospital.

"This officer briefly placed his knee on Mr. Gaindarpersaud's head to maintain control of the subject while calling for help and giving repeated commands to Mr. Gaindarpersaud's family to back up," Clifford said.

"The officer holds the head of Mr. Gaindarpersaud to the ground only as long as necessary to get him handcuffed and immediately releases it once backup officers arrive. At no time did the officer attempt to impair Mr. Gaindarpersaud's breathing or blood circulation. The officer was alone and attempting to gain control of the continually struggling Mr. Gaindarpersaud."

Floyd died on Memorial Day in Minneapolis after being arrested for using a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. A widely circulated video showed Floyd being restrained by a white officer face down with his knee on Floyd's neck. His death and video sparked weeks of protests and riots by those claiming the video was evidence of systemic racism in law enforcement and America.

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The arrest of a black man in Schenectady, New York, in which a video taken by his father shows the suspect restrained on the ground before being placed in handcuffs is being compared by the family to the one in which George Floyd died.
schenectady, new york, chokehold, arrest, race
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2020-24-08
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 05:24 PM
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