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Sarasota PD places officer on leave, releases video of officer kneeling on head and neck of suspect

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Richard Tribou

Orlando Sentinel

Video of an arrest of a black man by Sarasota Police Department officers was released a day after one of the officers was placed on leave because of videos from a social media post that reportedly showed the officer kneeling on the head and neck of the man being arrested.

The helicopter video from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was posted to to the Sarasota Police Department Facebook page saying “To continue our transparency involving the arrest of an individual on May 18, 2020 … we want to share with you the unedited video.”

The department said the incident is under an Internal Affairs department investigation and the unnamed officer remains on administrative leave.

The incident comes amid nationwide protests of the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police on May 25. Images of Floyd’s arrest, his neck being knelt on by former officer Derek Chauvin, now charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death, have fueled days of Black Lives Matter protests.

The Sarasota Police Deparment released the arrest report on Monday of Patrick Carroll, 27, by officers after responding to a domestic battery call. The post said Carroll did not need medical attention or complain of the injuries.

“After viewing several videos, Chief DiPino immediately initiated a formal Internal Affairs investigation and placed the officer on administrative leave,” reads the Monday post on the agency’s Facebook page. “Chief DiPino was disturbed to see an officer kneeling on the head and neck of an individual in the video. While it appears the officer eventually moves his leg to the individual’s back, this tactic is not taught, used or advocated by our agency.”

Carroll was charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, battery and resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.

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