PA Police Reveal What Happened in Video of Officer Kneeling on a Man's Neck

A Pennsylvania police department Monday night published a video of one of its officers kneeling on the neck of a man outside of an Allentown hospital. The shorter version of the video first made its rounds on social media Saturday night, drawing comparisons of a Minneapolis police officer doing the same to a Black man named George Floyd, who died at that scene on May 25.

The recent video that first hit social media shows just a small portion of the encounter. The Allentown Police Department released its own 9-minute video Monday that shows way more than just a cop kneeling on a man's neck. It shows how the man first became encountered, it showed a brief struggle, then two more officers helping while a nurse wearing scrubs patiently waited near them.

For the original encounter, Lehighvalleylive.com reported on a drive-by video tweet of the Saturday incident—a video of 26 seconds—that shows them driving up to a scene next to the hospital and three police officers struggling with a suspect on the ground. One officer appeared to hold the suspect down with a forearm on his neck, and then switched to pressing a knee on his neck.

BREAKING:@AllentownPolice were filmed Saturday evening applying the same force to a resident that the cops used to murder #GeorgeFloyd.
This happened here in #Allentown outside a hospital.
We demand answers. We demand change.
We're Done Dying.#DefundThePolice pic.twitter.com/AbuyvkMNdT

— Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley (@BLMlehighvalley) July 12, 2020

The people filming from inside the passing vehicle commented, but the video ended right there.

The video shortly made its way to the Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley's Twitter feed, and that quickly garnered comments, likes and retweets.

The video reminded many people of Floyd's death in May, in which former Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin was seen kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. The last words heard spoken by Floyd in the main video from that incident were, "I can't breathe."

Saturday's incident in Allentown happened outside of the emergency room at St. Luke's Sacred Heart Campus at 421 W. Chew Street.

The video on social media stirred protests in the city, which prompted the city to reveal a video of more than nine minutes, and how the situation began.

There is a guy shown limping across the street toward the hospital, and stopping before getting to the sidewalk, but still in the street. The man stood on the street curb as an officer approached him.

Here's the video released by the Allentown police Monday night.

The man on the street finally made his way onto the sidewalk as another cop, who was also wearing a mask, approached him. The feeble man appears to toss a mobile phone to the side, and then crouch down into a squatting position.

The man then stood up, and eventually began jumping up and down, potentially confronting the officers. There's no audio on the video, so it's difficult to differentiate what's said. The officers, both wearing gloves and face masks, approach the man on the street. The man kneels on one knee and puts both of his wrists in the air.

The cops eventually approached the man to apprehend him, and there appeared to be a minor struggle. The cop's knee on the man's neck was only briefly, and then the cop lifted his knee. Nobody else in the video, including the personnel who emerged from the emergency clinic, seemed to be in a panic.

Allentown police released the video, and ultimately this statement to defend their officers.

"Approximately 23 seconds of middle portion of the video is reflected in what has been observed on social media," police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. said, also saying his officers placed "a breathable spit mask" over the man's head.

"The final portion of the video depicts hospital staff and police escorting the individual into the hospital," Granitz said.

As for the protest on Monday, about 200 people showed up, most saying the police chief should condemn his officers using a knee on anyone's neck.

Police Force
A demonstrator holds her hands up while she kneels in front of the Police at the Anaheim City Hall on June 1, 2020 in Anaheim, California, during a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images