NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Sarasota police officer under investigation after kneeling on man's neck during arrest

Posted at 12:07 AM, Jun 02, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. — A Sarasota police officer is at the center of an internal investigation after a video posted on social media showed him kneeling on a suspect's neck.

The video, which the Sarasota Police Department said it was tagged by other users on social media after the incident happened on May 18, showed two Sarasota police officers working to place 27-year-old Patrick Carroll in custody with the third police officer watching the arrest. One of the police officers had his knee on the neck Carroll.

"As I’m yelling and asking why I’m being detained, he’s putting his knee on my neck," said Carroll.

Sarasota police were called to the area about a domestic issue.

Carroll says he suffers from asthma and scoliosis and was having trouble breathing.

"While he’s saying I’m resisting I’m just moving around so I can have circulation in my body and my throat," said Carroll.

Carroll was arrested on charges related to battery/domestic violence, possible ammunition by Florida convicted felon and resisting law enforcement officer without violence.

The cell phone video of the arrest was just posted to social media on Monday by Carroll's mother Terria.

"I just want the Sarasota Police Department to know that I’m upset and I’m not going to stop until somebody has a reasonable explanation as to why he was detained in that manner," said Terria Carroll.

Sarasota police said there was no complaint to them about this incident when it happened in May. And were unaware of what had happened until they were tagged in the video on Facebook on Monday.

"Utilizing your knee on someone’s neck is not something that we train. It’s not something that we authorize and it’s not something that we stand behind," said Patrick Robinson, Sarasota Police deputy chief.

The police department says as soon as the police chief saw the video, the officer was placed on administrative leave and an investigation was opened.

The sheriff’s office also released aerial video that they captured of the entire arrest.

"We are bound and determined to do everything we can to rebuild the relationships as to what’s going on in our community," said Robinson.

Carroll's family says they don't want people to respond to the video with violence, but with peaceful protest to advocate for change.

"If we're yelling they can't hear us, but if we meet them at belt level, we've got some loops and we can connect," said Terria Carroll.

Sarasota Police Department's announcement of investigating against its officer comes just days after a Minneapolis police officer was charged with third-degree murder after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died while in police custody.

Like the Sarasota incident, the Minneapolis police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, was also seen kneeling on the suspect's neck.

Floyd's death sparked protests and unrest nationwide, including the Tampa Bay area. The controversy in Minneapolis also opened up conversations about race and police brutality.