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May 13, 2019

Video showing Norristown police officer with teen in chokehold sparks investigation

The incident took place Saturday night at the St. Francis of Assisi Church carnival

Police Video
Norristown Police chokehold TopSideMarc/Instagram

In a video on Instagram, two Norristown police officers are seen breaking up a large fight occurred at the St. Francis of Assisi Church carnival on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

Police in Norristown are investigating a fight that occurred Saturday night at a church carnival where an officer was recorded holding a teenage girl in a chokehold.

Viral video of the incident is sparking outrage from community members, who are calling for an internal investigation and suspension of the officers involved.

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Police said officers were called to the St. Francis of Assisi church carnival around 8 p.m. Saturday night following reports of fights involving large groups of juveniles. Video of the incident shows one officer repeatedly pushing a group of people away from a second officer who is holding a girl on the ground. 

The second cop eventually puts the girl in a chokehold with one arm and is seen throwing punches in the direction of other juveniles that approach him. The first officer then pushes one girl into a crowd of bystanders, while another girl rushes at the second officer and begins to punch him. 

The video ends after a third officer threatens to deploy pepper spray and the crowd disperses.

At a press conference on Sunday, Norristown police confirmed one person is still in custody and an investigation is pending. The officers involved in the incident remain on active duty, WHYY reported.

"Arriving officers were confronted with many juveniles. Most of them chose not to comply," Norristown Police Chief Mark Talbot said during the conference. "Officers reported being shoved, punched, kicked. Officers reported that they had drinks thrown on them. Officers reported that they were overwhelmed with the crowd of people that were out there."

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