SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department (SPD) addressed a video being shared on social media, which appears to show an officer's arm around the neck of a homeless man he's trying to handcuff.
The cell phone video has been shared and viewed hundreds of times. Many online commenters say it shows an officer choking out a homeless man who appears limp and on the verge of losing consciousness.
SPD said the 29-second cell phone video lacks valuable perspective. The department released a 19-and-a-half-minute video from the officer's body cam. It showed what happens before and after the cell phone video.
On Thursday afternoon, a security guard reported a man was making threats and spitting at her near 2nd Avenue and Division Street.
"And he started threatening me. I'm going to cut your throat, I'm going to f*** you up," the guard told an officer in the video.
The guard then reported the same person threw an apple at someone riding a scooter, nearly hitting them in the head.
As the officer wrote down her information, he got another call about a man assaulting several people a block away. The description matched the one the security guard gave him.
Moments later, he finds the suspect, 30-year-old Alonzo Paige on the sidewalk.
"The subject was non-compliant and made a motion with his arm that appeared as though he was going to throw a punch at the officer," SPD said in a statement.
The officer then took Paige to the ground and struggled to get him into handcuffs.
This is when the cell phone video begins.
According to SPD, the officer used a ground control technique which is "effective" and "approved" by the department.
"A subject's head is held into the officer's body while also maintaining control of the subject's arm, not touching the neck," SPD said in a statement.
Paige was held in this position for 25 seconds. The officer then moved him onto his stomach after he says he was done. Then Paige was placed in handcuffs.
Paige, a three-time convicted felon, was arrested for assault and obstructing law enforcement. As of Friday night, he remains in the Spokane County jail.
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