Schenectady Police Officer In Viral Arrest Video Identified | WAMC

Schenectady Police Officer In Viral Arrest Video Identified

Jul 8, 2020

There is new information today about the Schenectady police officer who appears to use his knee on a city man’s neck in video of an arrest on Monday. 

The City of Schenectady has released more details of its investigation into the arrest of Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. 

Mayor Gary McCarthy, Police Chief Eric Clifford and other police department command staff, leadership of the Schenectady NAACP, a member of the city’s Civilian Police Review Board, and members of the city council met this afternoon to view and discuss body camera footage of Gaindarpersaud’s arrest Monday. WAMC has requested but not yet received a copy of the body camera footage.

The department has also identified the officer involved in the arrest, who appeared on video to place his knee on Gaindarpersaud’s neck. That officer is seven-year-veteran Brian Pommer. Pommer has since been placed on desk duty as the investigation continues. 

The police department says a review is being conducted by the Schenectady County District Attorney’s office and that the Chief of Police hopes more details can be released on Friday. 

This also comes as a longer video of the encounter between Officer Pommer and Mr. Gainderpersaud surfaced online. 

The first video that sparked a protest outside city police HQ Monday evening was a 23-second clip and a photo shared of the roughly 9-minute video of the arrest taken by Gaindarpersaud’s father. 

In that video, you see Gainderpersaud on the ground underneath the officer, who appears to hold the man to the ground with his knee on Gainderpersaud’s neck and head area. 

The police department has said that Officer Pommer did not obstruct Gainderpersaud’s breathing or blood circulation.  But the department did not address what’s also visible in the video, which is the officer punching Gainderpersaud several times on the ground before other officers arrive and he is handcuffed. 

Gainderpersaud is then led to a police vehicle. Gainderpersaud told WAMC Monday that he blacked out during the arrest and woke up at Ellis Hospital. Police say he was brought to Ellis Hospital by paramedics after he was brought to police headquarters. They also say Gainderpersaud was awake throughout the ordeal.