A group of teens swarmed a police officer who held a girl in a chokehold during a chaotic confrontation at the the St. Francis Spring Carnival in Norristown, Pennsylvania on May 18.
Punches were thrown by the youngsters at the officer, who was using his left arm to hold the girl by the throat, which is normally recognized as a chokehold.
Norristown Chief of Police Mark Talbot placed the blame on the crowd of young people, but the Montgomery County police are investigating the incident, which was filmed by several bystanders, notes WACU.
After clearing his officers of wrongdoing, Talbot claimed to stand by an investigation: “A full and thorough investigation is being conducted. We are committed to uncovering all of the relevant facts and will proceed in a transparent and impartial fashion.”
Talbot defended his officers’ actions yet again: “This is not a racist police department. This wasn’t an act of terror by police. These officers were overcoming a significant amount of resistance.”
The teen girl, who was placed in the chokehold, gave her version:
I was saying, ‘I can’t breathe. Can you please let me go?” It was pressing right on my neck. I couldn’t breathe at all. It was terrible.
The girl also said her cousin was the teen who was punched by the officer and later body slammed to the ground. The cousin remains in custody and will have a court hearing Monday after being accused of assaulting an officer.