A Florida police department has launched an internal investigation after a video surfaced on social media showing a Sarasota police officer kneeling on a black man’s neck during an arrest.
In the nearly 90-second cellphone video taken by a bystander during the May 18 incident, three officers can be seen attempting to take a male individual into custody. One of the two officers is then seen kneeling on the head and neck of the man.
The man, who was arrested on a domestic violence/battery charge, is heard yelling, “Why am I being arrested?” as the officer kneels on him.
“As I’m yelling, and asking, ‘Why am I being detained,’ he started putting his knee on my neck,” Patrick Carroll said in an interview with CNN affiliate WFTS.
The video surfaced as protests are underway across the nation seeking justice and reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death, which an independent autopsy attributed to officers kneeling on him during his arrest. Video showed an officer with a knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
In the police incident report obtained by CNN, one of the officers involved says that after they placed Carroll in handcuffs, the “defendant attempted to pull away from officers and refused to get into the rear of the patrol vehicle. Minor force was used to escort subject to the ground and secure him long enough for him to calm down.”
The Sarasota Police Department said in a statement released Tuesday it didn’t learn about the video until Monday when the department was tagged in a social media post showing a portion of the arrest. After a review of several videos, Chief Bernadette DiPino immediately initiated a formal internal affairs investigation, the department said.
The officer, who had not been identified, has been placed on administrative leave.
SPD did not address whether the other two officers on scene, and shown in the video, would face any disciplinary action.
SPD also released an unedited video taken from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office helicopter on the day of the arrest. The 13-minute video provides a bird’s eye view of officers responding to the scene and taking the man into custody.
“Chief DiPino was disturbed to see an officer kneeling on the head and neck of an individual in the video. While it appears the officer eventually moves his leg to the individual’s back, this tactic is not taught, used or advocated by our agency,” a statement released by SPD read.
Carroll did not seek medical attention or formally complain of his injuries during the May 18 incident, according to police.
Police also stated in the incident report that Carroll was resisting arrest.
However, during the interview with CNN affiliate WFTS, Carroll says he was not resisting. He says he was attempting to move around so that he could have “circulation in his body and throat.”
CNN has reached out to the International Union of Police Association for comment.