After a New York man was arrested for threatening the lives of police officers, he accused them of racism and placing him in a chokehold, leading to the officer’s suspension without pay. However, just a few weeks later, the same man was arrested for a bigoted attack of his own.
While roaming a Queens boardwalk one morning, 35-year-old Ricky Bellevue and several other men were captured provoking and insulting several New York Police Department (NYPD) officers for nearly 10 minutes before the situation escalated, according to the NY Daily News. Police had responded to a call concerning a mentally ill person who was causing a disturbance on the boardwalk.
Bodycam footage shows Bellevue and several other men relentlessly taunting the officers as the police laugh off their insults and suggest they go enjoy the festivities on the beach. Bellevue responds with “f— off” and other obscenities before launching into a racially charged tirade laced with deadly threats before his friends advise him not to threaten an officer.
“Don’t you touch me, n—-, or touch any of my boys and you’re dead,” Bellevue warned as he made a shooting gesture at the officers.
The three men move aggressively toward the officers multiple times as the police showcase the utmost restraint. Finally, Bellevue aggressively approaches the officers, who grab him and take him down to the ground to arrest him. The footage then captures one of the officers applying a chokehold to Bellevue, who was fighting being handcuffed.
“Y’all stop choking him, bro,” one friend yelled. “Yo! Stop choking him! Yo, he’s choking him, let him go, bro. Let him go!”
The officer, later identified as NYPD Officer David Afanador, releases the chokehold after he is prompted by a fellow officer to relent. Bellevue is immediately offered medical treatment, which he initially declined.
Of course, Bellevue and sympathetic online voices called for racial justice, which led to Officer Afanador being suspended without pay as an investigation unfolded. The 39-year-old cop has been charged with strangulation and attempted strangulation for using the chokehold, a move that was recently banned after a public outcry.
“I want the officer who put him in a chokehold to be in the cell next to him. This guy should be charged criminally, and fired,” said Lori Zeno, Bellevue’s attorney.
After suggesting that Officer Afanador engaged in police brutality and even targeted Bellevue because of racial prejudice, the suspect was once again placed under arrest — this time for an apparent bias of his own.
Bellevue was arrested for trying to rob a pair of men while hurling anti-gay slurs, making his alleged actions a hate crime. The suspect was charged with robbery as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, harassment stalking, and unlawful possession of marijuana after he allegedly attempted to steal a bag from two male victims.
Along with alleged accomplice Trevel Parris, 28, Bellevue brandished a box cutter and tried to snatch one of the men’s bags before slashing him across the face and hands as the victims fought back. Still, Bellevue’s legal team wanted to remind readers that her client was the real victim, WNBC reports.
Bellevue is “still a victim, he’s a victim of an illegal chokehold, this doesn’t change that,” attorney Sanford Rubenstein said.
Officer Afanador was rightfully suspended as the investigation continued. However, to accuse him of racism or bigotry simply because Bellevue is black is the same rush to judgment that has created the dangerous anti-police atmosphere we now have.
Disturbingly, law enforcement officers are automatically painted as racist pawns in an equally biased system while violent criminals are categorized as victims of an oppressive judicial structure. Sadly, judging each case on an individual basis and reserving accusations of racism for after all evidence has come out is a thing of the past. As in this case, the media simply refuse to hold Bellevue to the same standards as Officer Afanador.