New York Police Department (NYPD) officer David Ivan Afanador was suspended today for using an illegal choke hold on Ricky Bellevue (who is black) during an arrest near 113th St and Ocean Promenade in Rockaway Beach. The incident was caught on camera and you can see it in the embedded video below. Afanador's choke hold appears to be a clear violation of recent legislation in New York that makes it a crime for an officer to use a choke hold like the one Afanador used. Bellevue is still recovering in the hospital. His lawyer, Lori Zeno, is publicly calling for his arrest and saying that Afanador should be placed in a cell right next to her client. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called the video "disturbing" and suspended him without pay.
Afranador's identity was outed on Twitter by a city counsel candidate named Anthony Beckford. Beckford described Afanador's actions as an "Illegal modern day lynching chokehold on a Black Man." Beckford did the right thing and told the public who Afanador is. All too often law enforcement agencies refuse to name bad officers that are suspended for doing bad things. In those cases the public is denied the opportunity to share information about them. There are usually other victims whose complaints may have been ignored over the years. When the names of these officer are released those victims get another shot at justice. That is why we have been recently advocating against agencies that hide the identities of suspended officers. That advocacy has been distorted at times by opponents, but it basically boils down to helping people make themselves heard by using enhanced persuasion techniques. Thanks to Beckford we don't have to do anything to figure out who Afanador is. Usually all it takes is one person in local government that decides to do the right thing. Someone that knows who did it and decides to share that information whether the agencies like it or not. America needs more people like Anthony Beckford.
Afranador has a history of violent accusations. In 2014 he was caught on video pistol whipping a 16 year old so bad his teeth were broken. He was charged criminally with assault, but found not guilty by a jury.
Officer David Ivan Afanador, Badge #31730