Suffolk police investigate officer shown grabbing man's throat in YouTube video
The Suffolk County Police Department's internal affairs bureau is investigating a video posted on YouTube Monday of an officer grabbing the throat of a man and shoving him back.
The 31-second video of the March incident shows Michael Schuchman, 22, in his Sound Beach kitchen, where he's face to face with the uniformed Suffolk officer, who's cursing and threatening to beat him up and drag him to jail if he has to come back to the house again.
After Schuchman tells the officer to "get out," the officer grabs Schuchman's throat with his left hand and shoves him back, and Schuchman's head bumps against a kitchen cabinet, the footage shows.
"Get your hands off my throat," Schuchman says, and as he wrests his head out of the officer's grasp, the officer lets go.
Suffolk police declined to answer questions about the incident, but issued a statement: "On March 28, 2013, the Suffolk County Police Department responded to a complaint of a loud party on Sayville Rd., Sound Beach. Officers dispersed a large crowd. The Department is aware of the video circulating on the Internet related to this incident. The SCPD Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting a complete and thorough investigation into the matter. At the conclusion of the investigation, we will take appropriate action."
Tuesday, Schuchman said, "I did nothing wrong."
Schuchman said he and up to 15 guests were partying that night when police arrived.
According to Schuchman, he and the officer first argued outside the house.
"I told him multiple times he couldn't come in without a warrant," he said. "That's why he was mad in the first place."
Schuchman acknowledged he had been drinking and was mouthing back.
When investigators later asked if he wanted to press charges against the officer, Schuchman said, he declined.
"As long as he's learned his lesson, I don't want to get him fired," he said.
Schuchman's aunt, also his next-door neighbor, said he has been living alone in the home since December.
Anna Schuchman said she and others on the street have called police several times because of loud parties at 2 or 4 a.m. "every night." Schuchman said that characterization is "overexaggerating."
The young partygoers often disperse after police arrive, but not before "taunting" officers with "I know my rights," she said.
"I'm so very upset about this," the aunt said about the video's portrayal of responding officers. "This cop was doing his job."