Activists demand officer to be fired as investigation into ‘kneeling on man’s neck’ continues

Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:32 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Several civil rights organizations gathered in front of Binghamton City Hall Tuesday afternoon to further address an incident involving an officer of the Binghamton Police Department.

A video shared with 12 News last week showed an officer kneeling on a man neck’s following a fight outside of Dillinger’s Irish Pub around 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Community organizers compared the incident to former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd in May 2020.

The groups demanded that the officer involved be fired from the Binghamton Police Department and charged with aggravated strangulation, officers who were present be investigated, the state immediately discontinue state funding to the police department, the removal of school resource officers from Binghamton schools, the closure of the law enforcement academy, and all charges against the alleged victim be dropped.

“At some point we have to hold ourselves accountable as community members,” said Community organizer Shanel Boyce. “And say it’s our time to do something about it because city council, law enforcement, all the higher-ups are not going to do something about it unless we demand it of them.”

The group said they had plans to gather at Binghamton City Council AT 5:30 P.M. Wednesday to speak out against the police department. They also plan on attending the alleged victim’s court date on Jan. 18 and a Binghamton City School District board meeting on Jan. 24.

In response, Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham wrote a statement to 12 News regarding the demands. He said:

“A personnel complaint filed last week remains under investigation. Like all complaints, it will be thoroughly investigated to determine facts. That includes a review of available video. As for Tuesday’s news release, these are the same tired demands by activists to “defund the police” and eliminate popular and critical programs like School Resource Officers and community policing. Neighborhoods deserve an accountable 21st Century police department, with the personnel, training and technology to work side-by-side with residents to solve public safety challenges. Defunding the police or closing our law enforcement academy are extreme proposals that have no merit or support in this community.”

On Jan. 6, the Binghamton Police Department announced it assigned an officer to desk duty after videos of the incident circled on social media.