Watch CBS News

Grand Jury Declines To Indict Former NYPD Officer David Afanador In 1st Case Under Chokehold Ban

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A grand jury declined to indict former NYPD Officer David Afanador, who was accused of using an illegal chokehold during an arrest last year in Queens.

Cellphone video captured Afanador using the apparent chokehold while arresting Ricky Bellevue last June on the Far Rockaway boardwalk, causing Bellevue to lose consciousness.

District Attorney Melinda Katz said the law prohibits her from discussing grand jury proceedings, but she said she is moving to have the hearings unsealed.

Afanador was arrested again in March for allegedly firing a gun into the ocean on Long Island. He was also charged with pistol-whipping a 16-year-old suspect in 2014, but was acquitted in a bench trial.

As for Bellevue, his family told CBS2 he struggles with mental illness, which has only gotten worse since his arrest. Police said he was taken into custody twice in July of 2020 -- once for a slashing and attempted robbery, and another time for robbing a 16-year-old girl.

There are now calls for justice with advocates saying they won't back down.

"We are taking our fight to Washington, to the Justice Department, calling on the Justice Department to bring on charges that this young man's civil rights were violated," civil rights leader Rev. Kevin McCall said.

Attorney Sanford Rubenstein says he has written a letter to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District requesting she open an investigation. He says a civil lawsuit against the NYPD and Afanador will continue.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.