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Officer in Harlem Chokehold Arrest Out Sick Since Incident, Police Say

Harlem Possible Chokehold Arrest
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Facebook/Kelmy Rodriguez

MANHATTAN — The police officer recorded putting a man in a chokehold during an arrest in an East Harlem subway station just days before Eric Garner’s death remains on active duty, a NYPD spokesman said Thursday. 

Officer Colin McGuire, who was captured on video putting his arm around the neck of Ronald Johns, 22,  on July 14, has been out sick since the incident, but remains assigned to Transit District 4, according the NYPD.

In the recording, McGuire can be seen on several videos with his arm around Johns' throat and, at times, punching him in the face as the suspect struggles in the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue station.

“Stop resisting,” McGuire could be heard saying in the video after striking Johns several times in the face.

 Eric Garner, 43, died after being put in a police chokehold in the Stapleton section of Staten Island.
Eric Garner, 43, died after being put in a police chokehold in the Stapleton section of Staten Island.
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Drops of blood were seen falling from the 22-year-old’s nose.

Police stopped Johns after he entered the station through an exit gate, according to court papers.

He then refused to show his identification and "flailed his arms and twisted his body to prevent Officer McGuire from putting handcuffs on him," according to a criminal complaint.

"What I saw on this video was incredibly disturbing," East Harlem Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez said. "There appear to be several violations of NYPD protocol, including punches to the face and a chokehold."

Both the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Civilian Complaint Revue Board are investigating the arrest.

"I look forward to updates on procedural reforms, and measures to ensure appropriate accountability," the assemblyman said.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo was also seen on video using the banned technique while arresting Garner, 43, for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes on July 17 in Staten Island.

Pantaleo and other officers wrestled Garner, who could be heard yelling, “I can’t breathe,” while police were on top of him. The father-of-six died two hours after the confrontation, sources said.

The officer was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty while the death is investigated.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton ordered a “top down review” of how the NYPD trains officers to subdue people.

Garner was remembered as a “gentle giant” during his funeral in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

"We can't live in a country where you can now choke us," Rev. Al Sharpton said during his eulogy. "We're not going to stop until we get justice."