HomeSoutheast Asian AmericanControversy over death of George Floyd felt in Cambodia

Controversy over death of George Floyd felt in Cambodia

The controversy over police choke holds which gained wide attention after the death of George Floyd is also being felt in Cambodia.

A video which surfaced June 29 shows a Cambodian police officer using the same carotid restraint seen in the death of Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the video taken by a bystander, a Cambodian police officer is seen placing his knee on Vey Longreach, an alleged drug trafficker and user, according to VOA. The video also captures the police officers, who are not identified, kicking, pushing, and pulling the suspect’s hair.

According to VOA, the officers were trying to arrest a group of people for alleged drug offenses, and Longreach tried to escape. The Phnom Penh police officers claim Longreach is a drug trafficker and user, and violently resisted the arrest.

The video also shows residents are seen trying to help Longreach before the officer puts his knee on Longreach’s neck.

Longreach is heard in the video saying “[My] neck will break” and “Don’t hit me I don’t know,” reports VOA.

Phnom Penh Police Chief Star Theth told VOA that the police officer did not have his knee on the back of Longreach’s neck, but instead on his back. However, the officer’s restraint tactic in the video looks a lot similar to that of the video of former Minneapolis officer Derek M. Chauvin as he restrained Floyd on May 25.

Floyd’s death sparked protests and riots against police brutality and the arrests of four officers.

“In Cambodia, this is not new. There are so many stories related to excessive use of force. Such abuse of power by police forces should be punished,” said Chak Sopheap, Cambodian Center for Human Rights executive director

Theth told VOA that the officers involved would be punished for excessive force, but denies the use of the carotid restraint and says bystanders “just filmed it like that.” Theth said Cambodia is better than America because Longreach did not die when he was asked to comment on the similarities between Longreach’s arrest and the murder of George Floyd.

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