SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Authorities say a Sarasota police officer was placed on administrative leave after he was seen kneeling on the neck of a black man during an arrest last month.
According to police, a video surfaced on social media showing the officer kneeling on the man’s head and neck. The police department was tagged in the post.
Police said the officer eventually moved his leg to the man’s back.
Police said Chief Bernadette DiPino was “disturbed” to see the officer kneeling on the man’s neck and decided to place him on administrative leave.
“Utilizing your knee on someone’s neck is not something that we train, it is not something that we authorized and it is not some thing that we stand behind,” said Deputy Chief of Police Patrick Robinson.
The police department has not released the officer’s name due to safety concerns, but they did release aerial footage of the incident in its entirety.
“We don’t want this incident to be our defining moment in our community. We are doing everything we can to be transparent to ensure that this investigation is handled quickly and appropriately within the confines of the law,” said Deputy Chief Robinson.
The 27-year-old man identified as Patrick Carroll did not require medical attention or complain of any injuries, police said. He was arrested on charges related to battery/domestic violence, possible ammunition by Florida convicted felon and resisting law enforcement officer without violence, according to an affidavit.
Carroll described the moments he was on the ground. “It felt very painful it felt like I was going to die. I was scared. I didn’t know what was going on, why he was detaining me like this,” said Carroll.
He and his family want answers and change.
Police shouldn’t feel like they have to abuse their authority. They shouldn’t have to detain somebody like that,” said Carroll.
“I just want the Sarasota Police Department to know that I am upset. I am not going to stop until somebody has a reasonable explanation as to why you detained him in that manner,” said his mother Terria Carroll.
Although police say they have not received any additional complaints regarding the video, they’re asking anyone with additional information or videos regarding the incident to call the Sarasota Police Department Internal Affairs Division at 941-263-6027, Chief DiPino at 941-263-6012 or Heather Robison, who is the Administrator for the City of Sarasota Police Advisory Panels at 941–263-6322.
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