READING, Pa. (CBS) — The City of Reading is promising a full investigation following a controversial arrest. Video of the arrest in Reading on Monday has been going viral on social media and it’s led to a police investigation of how the arrest went down.
Eyewitness News spoke with a man who was on that scene trying to deescalate the situation.
“I was in my home and I just heard someone screaming for his life outside,” one Reading resident said.
That resident, who chose not to give us his name, did decide to get involved on Monday in what he describes as excessive force on the part of police officers during an arrest on 11th Street.
“Once they got him on the floor, they was on his chest first before they got to his stomach,” he said. “I felt like I was seeing the same thing that happened to George Floyd and I did not want to witness this.”
The video of the arrest was posted to social media and has sparked outrage and much discussion about the incident.
“I was trying to stop this because even though I didn’t know this person, I felt like this could’ve been me, this could have been my wife,” the resident said.
The video has captured the attention of Reading mayor Eddie Moran, who released a statement on Tuesday, it reads in part:
“In that video, a patrol officer appears to be engaged in conduct that is contrary to my goals, along with the department’s, of engaging our community in a positive way. At this time, the Reading Police Office of Professional Standards is conducting a thorough investigation into the incident that will include a review of officers’ body worn cameras that were activated during the incident…”
As for the man and his wife, they’re unapologetic about stepping into what they’ve described as an escalating situation.
“I felt like the guy’s life was threatened so I’m not going to walk away. That would’ve flashed in my head when I went to sleep. I had to do what I had to do,” the man said.
“Mayor Moran and Chief Tornielli are allowing the investigative process by the Reading Police Department to take its full course and have no further comment at this time,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.
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