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LAS Secures Dismissal for Client Placed in Illegal Neck Hold by NYPD

Olayemi Olurin, Staff Attorney with the Queens Trial Office at The Legal Aid Society, secured a dismissal of charges pending against Sircarlyle Arnold, a Legal Aid client who was violently arrested this past January by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers and placed in a knee-on-neck hold, the same technique used in the killing of George Floyd, reports the Queens Daily Eagle.

As the world watches the prosecution of a Minnesota officer whose similar actions took the life of George Floyd, DA Melinda Katz announced last Friday that her office would not seek charges against the officers involved, despite the City Council’s passage of a bill reaffirming that knee-on-neck holds are unlawful. The NYPD has provided no information about whether any of the officers involved will face disciplinary consequences, leaving open the possibility that NYPD officers will once again be granted impunity for their violent acts.

In a graphic video, NYPD officers are seen kneeling on Mr. Arnold’s neck while bystanders beg the officers to stop. Also, not a single officer is seen with a mask or practicing safe social distancing.

The top charge against Mr. Arnold in this case was Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree – a misdemeanor – for allegedly operating an ATV.

“The charges against Sircarlyle Arnold should have been dismissed weeks ago, just as quickly as they were brought. Mr. Arnold is still reeling from this violent arrest, during which an officer placed him in a knee-on-neck hold, the same technique used in the killing of George Floyd,” said Olurin.