/  07.12.2020

Less than a month after Allentown Police Department released their use of force policy, an APD officer was caught on camera kneeling into a man’s neck Saturday (July 11) afternoon. It’s the same maneuver that killed George Floyd.

On Saturday (July 11) evening, protestors from Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley marched down to the Allentown, Pennsylvania police station demanding answers from police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. and Mayor Ray O’Connell.

Granitz announced that there will be an investigation.

In a 24 second video taken by a resident outside of St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital, three police officers are seen arresting a man. With his face in the pavement, one of the officers appears to apply pressure to the man’s back using his shoulder and elbow before pressing his knee into the man’s neck

Just last week, the Allentown Police Department praised themselves for releasing their use of force policy.

No sooner…

Posted by Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley on Saturday, July 11, 2020

The use of force policy is supposed to put an end to these types of incidents. The order provides a guideline for officers and states that they should only use “force that is reasonably necessary to effectively bring an incident under control, while protecting the lives of the officer and others.”

Protesters are demanding that authorities release the name of the cop.

Though an investigation is underway, Granitz is unsure of how long it will take.

“I don’t have a 24-hour, 48-hour time table for you,” Granitz told one resident.

“My takeaway from the video is that Black and brown lives don’t matter to APD or to the city,” Justan Parker, Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley leader, told CBS Philly.

“It’s really concerning and it’s scary in fact because now that the policy was made public there’s still not a buy-in,” Parker added. “So what are we doing here? What was the point in releasing it if we’re not going to adhere to it?”

Police have yet to release any information on the man, including his name and condition. Residents are also asking that bodycam footage from the officers also be released.

In the meantime, Black Lives Matter to Lehigh Valley is planning for more protests later this week.


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