KEY TO POLICE REFORM
In the wake of a viral video showing a cop in Queens
choking an individual on the Rockaway Boardwalk
on Sunday, June 21, the NYPD did not waste a second
making its response to the incident clear.
Within hours of the video being circulated, the
NYPD quickly identified and suspended the officer
without pay. They also released video from the officer’s
body cam of the incident that same day — something
unheard of since the department began using them as
a means of officer accountability.
In two statements, including one from Police Commissioner
Dermot Shea, the NYPD made clear that it
was taking the incident seriously, would investigate it
thoroughly, and hold accountable the officer if wrongdoing
was determined. Certainly, it appeared from
the video that the officer not only broke protocol, but
also the law: cops in New York state are now prohibited
from putting individuals in a chokehold while attempting
to subdue them.
“While a full investigation is still underway, there
is no question in my mind that this immediate action
is necessary,” Commissioner Shea said of the incident.
“We are committed to transparency as this process
The incident happened at a time of great unrest
in the city and country, with much anger directed at
the NYPD for past incidents of police brutality. It led
to repeated calls for a host of reforms, from outlawing
chokeholds to partially “defunding” the NYPD and allocating
resources to youth and education programs.
The Rockaway choking on June 21 could have
prompted a new wave of outrage across the city had
the NYPD not stepped in quickly to take preemptive,
internal measures to hold the officer involved accountable.
Shea and the department deserve credit for how
it handled this incident, both internally and publicly.
Some might suggest anyway that the NYPD might
have jumped the gun in suspending the officer pending
the ongoing investigation. But departmental action
must not be conflated with a court of law, where a
suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty.
The video footage provided the ample proof the
NYPD needed to take action. With the way the video
circulated, it would have been inexcusable to have
waited days or even weeks before deciding to suspend
Shea has said the NYPD takes the calls for reform
seriously. Similar swift action in response to future
police brutality allegations is just one way police can
rebuild trust with New Yorkers.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER |14 QNS.COM | JUNE 26-JULY 2, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio (r.) praised Commissioner Dermot Shea and the NYPD for taking swift action against the
police officer who allegedly used a chokehold to subdue an unarmed Black man in Queens on Sunday.
Photo by Mark Hallum
Attention healthcare workers:
Tell us your coronavirus stories
As the coronavirus epidemic
rages on across New York City,
we want to hear from the health
care workers on the front lines
battling to save lives.
Our reporters want to speak
with health care workers about
what they’ve witnessed in emergency
rooms, medical centers,
nursing homes and other facilities
where lives hang in the balance
every day. We want to tell
their stories to show New York
City their courage but also the severity
of the conditions they work
in — and the situation they face.
We welcome submissions at
any time from active New York
City physicians, nurses, lab technicians
and other health care
workers who are helping to treat
Email Editor-in-Chief Zach
Gewelb at zgewelb@schnepsmedia.
com, and a reporter may contact
you soon. Your information
will be held confidentially; your
name will be used only with your
express permission, or withheld
By submitting, you understand
that the content must not be false,
defamatory, misleading or hateful,
or infringe any copyright or
any other third party rights or otherwise
We will use the contact details
that you provide to verify your
identity and answers to the questionnaire,
as well as to contact
you for further information on this
story. If we publish your content,
we may include your name and
MAIL: 38-15 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, NY 11361
PHONE: Display Advertising: (718) 260-4537
Editorial: (718) 260-4549
WEBSITE: Visit www.qns.com
E-MAIL: Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org
Display Advertising: email@example.com
TO SUBSCRIBE: Call (718) 260-2515
PROUD MEMBER OF NEW YORK PRESS ASSOCIATION
V.P. OF ADVERTISING
Reporters: Bill Parry, Angelica
Acevedo, Carlotta Mohamed,
Jenna Bagcal, Jacob Kaye
Copy Editor: Katrina Medoff
ART & PRODUCTION
Art Director: Nirmal Singh
Layout: Zach Gewelb
Senior Account Executive:
Copyright©2019 Queens CNG LLC.