Officer assigned ‘desk duty’ after video shows policeman kneeling on man’s neck

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's noon newscast.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 11:36 AM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The Binghamton Police Department assigned one of its officers to desk duty after a video surfaced on social media showing a member of the department kneeling on the neck of a New Year’s Eve partygoer.

A statement from Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said the department is investigating the incident after a complaint was filed with the department the next day. He said the officer who is the subject of the complaint will remain at the desk pending the results of the investigation.

The department said, around 3:20 a.m. on Jan 1., a 24-year-old man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following a fight that involved multiple people. Two other people were arrested.

The complainant was Hamail Waddell; a Black-Asian man.

On Jan. 2, community members and Waddell’s family gathered outside of Binghamton City Hall to show support for Waddell. Those who gathered called themselves community activists and said the officer in question kneeled on Waddell’s neck outside of Dillinger’s Irish Pub after a fight.

A video shared with 12 News showed an officer kneeling on a person’s neck on the corner of State and Hawley streets as a crowd of people stood by and took video. A second video, also shared with 12 News, shows a man on the ground with a bystander yelling for people to take their phones out.

The alleged incident has been compared to former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd in May 2020.

The Binghamton Police Department said the investigation into the complaint includes a review of all available footage of the arrest. Anyone who has video of the arrest is asked to contact the Binghamton Police Department at 607-772-7091.

“It is vital that investigators have all available footage in determining facts in this matter,” Zikuski said.

The Binghamton Police Department initially did not respond to 12 News’ request for comment. However, on Jan. 2 Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said the police department was aware of the videos showing the incident circulating online.