SAN ANTONIO - Cellphone camera video provided to the KSAT 12 Defenders shows a San Antonio Police Department officer using a chokehold on a suspect while a second officer repeatedly punches him in the kidneys and ribs.
The footage emerged this week, days after the Monday afternoon arrest of Denzale Shaw, 27, outside an apartment at Pecan Valley Drive and Dollarhide Avenue.
Kristal Thomas, Shaw's cousin, said an officer entered her apartment and pointed his gun at her while her 1-month-old daughter slept in a back bedroom, prior to attempting to take Shaw into custody.
Cellphone camera video captured from a second angle shows an officer use a Taser on Shaw outside the apartment before the chokehold manuever was used.
By the time Shaw is wrestled to the ground, five officers surround him.
"He wasn't fighting you. He wasn't showing any type of aggression," Thomas said.
"He's telling you 'My mouth is burning. My hands are burning. I can't breathe.' He's showing distress."
Arrest information released by SAPD on Friday afternoon indicates that Shaw was wanted, ironically, in connection to a chokehold incident involving his girlfriend.
Shaw has three previous arrests for family violence and is currently on probation for a family violence-2nd conviction earlier this year.
Police said in this incident, Shaw used the inside of his elbow to put the woman in a chokehold after striking her face with his fist.
After the woman got away from Shaw, she called police who then tracked down Shaw, according to preliminary arrest information.
Footage of Shaw's arrest, which has now been widely shared on social media, shows an officer place Shaw in a chokehold for 16 seconds, briefly release it and then place him back in it for another 16 seconds.
SAPD officials on Friday declined to comment on the footage because it was not recorded by them.
An SAPD spokeswoman released the following statement:
With respect to the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint aka "chokehold" it is prohibited unless deadly force is authorized.
The spokeswoman said a use of force report was written after Shaw's arrest, but that she was not yet able to access it.
She said if a review determines the force appears to be excessive, it will be addressed through the formal complaint process with internal affairs and then presented to a review board to determine if discipline is warranted.
Based on the board's decision, it will be presented to Chief William McManus for a final disposition.
As SAPD officers processed the scene after Shaw's arrest, Thomas used her cellphone camera to record her interactions with officers.
The officer who used the chokehold on Shaw told Thomas, "I don't want it on social media. I'll trace it back to your phone."
Thomas said she perceived the comment to be a threat from the officer.
SAPD records show Shaw was briefly hospitalized because of the Taser deployment.
Bexar County clerk records show Shaw was eventually booked on the family violence-choking charge, as well as a charge of resisting arrest.
He remains in the Bexar County Jail as of Friday evening.
Shaw's attorney did not respond to multiple calls from the Defenders.
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