ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — No charges will be filed against the Allentown police officers involved in a viral incident outside of St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital last weekend, Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin said Friday. The video showed an officer appearing to kneel on the neck of 37-year-old Edward Borrero, who police were trying to subdue during an arrest around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Martin said after a thorough review, the restraint was reasonable and that the officer placed his knee on Borrero’s head and not his neck, as it appeared in the video released on social media.
While Martin said it’s not his call, he sees no evidence suggesting that the officers should be disciplined.
Authorities say police officers observed Borrero vomiting and staggering along the street before making his way outside of the hospital’s emergency room. When officers approach, a struggle ensued and Borrero was taken to the ground.
In a video posted on social media, the officer’s knee is seen on the man’s head area for approximately eight seconds. Borrero was then escorted into the hospital wearing a breathable mask intended to stop a person from spitting at officers or others.
Martin says Borrero was under the influence of heroin and cocaine at the time of the incident.
The viral video led to Black Lives Matter protests in Allentown and garnered national attention.
Justan Parker with Black Lives Matter Lehigh Valley reacted to Martin’s statement with: “This case needs to be reopened and reviewed externally. This is Allentown PA sweeping this under the rug and trying to keep the United States or nationwide attention outside of your backyard and this needs to be opened up and reviewed because this is just gross negligence that happened in this case.”
Parker says Black Lives Matter Lehigh Valley is considering all options, including street protests in response. They plan to keep their followers updated on the group’s Facebook page.
“Our internal review by the Office of Professional Standards, as well as our Use of Force review process has determined, along with the District Attorney’s independent findings, that there is no basis for any discipline of the officers involved,” Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz, Jr. said.
The district attorney says the two officers are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test from an unrelated incident that took place last Saturday.
Borrero has been charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
CBS3’s Natasha Brown contributed to this report.