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Black Lives Matter Lehigh Valley Reacts to 9 Minute Video of Police Encounter
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WLVT) - Allentown police released a nine-minute video that provides greater context for a video clip that went viral and sparked protests by Black Lives Matter of the Lehigh Valley.

But organizers of the group say the longer version of a police encounter with a man outside St. Luke's Sacred Heart campus hasn't appeased their demands or softened their stance.

"Looking at the video I think it just furthers what we've already been saying, already been seeing, and it's just unacceptable," says Justan Parker, an organizer with Black Lives Matter of the Lehigh Valley.

The video shows an Allentown police officer pressing his arm, leg and knee into the head and neck area of a man on the ground. Protesters say the move is reminiscent of the one used in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

People marched on the Allentown Police Department Saturday night, just a few hours after a 23-second video clip was posted on social media.

Police released the longer video Monday night, not long after another protest in downtown Allentown drew hundreds.

Allentown Councilman Joshua Siegel attended the Monday night protest.

Police Chief Glenn Granitz has said police are internally investigating the use of force. The Lehigh County District Attorney's Office also is investigating.

Two police officers were involved in the encounter with the man, who was staggering and vomiting outside the hospital. He was not charged with any crime and was treated and released from the hospital that night, according to police.

"Absolutely we need those officers to be suspended; we need confirmation that those officers are suspended," Siegel said. "Their names need to be released to the public. The body cam needs to be released to the public immediately.

"We need a citizens review board so members of the community have the ability to investigate and recommend disciplinary measures on police. We can't just rely on internal investigations. They're not going to be impartial, they’re not going to be fair. They're not going to be just, and at the end of the day we need to seriously begin the process of divesting resources from the police department and back into the community with things that actually work."

Police did not release the name of the man involved and have not commented on the status of the officers.

Police were at the hospital on an unrelated matter when the man walked up to the hospital, police have said.

Click on the video player below to watch today's full story from PBS39's Ben Stemrich.

PBS39 News Reports



Allentown police release a 9-minute video that provides greater context than the original