Florida officer on leave after pressing knee into man's neck


SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A bystander video showing a Sarasota police officer pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed black man a week before the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has prompted an investigation and promises of transparency.

Two Sarasota officers are seen on video holding down Patrick Carroll, 27, during a domestic violence call on May 18th. A third officer was standing nearby.

“Utilizing your knee on someone’s neck is not something that we train,” Sarasota Police Deputy Chief Patrick Robinson said. “It’s not something that we authorize and it’s not something that we stand behind.”

The department told news outlets it wasn’t aware the officer placed a knee on Carroll’s neck until it was tagged in the video on social media on Monday. In a police report released by the department, an officer stated, “minor force was used to escort subject to the ground and secure him long enough for him to calm down.”

The department said on Facebook that “the individual didn't require medical attention nor did the individual complain of injuries during the incident.” Carroll's family disputes this, telling the Herald-Tribune that a request for medical attention was denied in jail and they are seeking legal counsel.

Aerial video posted by the department Tuesday shows more of the encounter. The officers are seen speaking with Carroll for several minutes before placing him in handcuffs. He then resists being put in the patrol car, and officers force him to the ground.

Carroll said he was trying to ask officers why he was being detained. He said he has asthma and scoliosis in his back, and was having trouble breathing.

“I could have been dead on that ground and not standing here talking to y'all right now,” Carroll told reporters this week, amid global protests over the death of Floyd, who said he couldn't breathe as a Minneapolis officer pressed a knee into his neck on Memorial Day.

The officer who placed his knee on Carroll's neck has been placed on administrative leave, the department said. He hasn't been identified. The two other officers are on “desk duty” while the arrest is being investigated, news outlets reported.

Carroll, meanwhile, faces charges of domestic battery, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and resisting arrest.

Originally published