GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – We’re now getting a look at the video of an incident in Gallup when a man was put in a chokehold by police and ended up dead. The Attorney General’s Office is now investigating what happened and the man’s family is speaking out.
“He was a father, he was a husband and he was just, it shouldn’t have happened that way. Everyone is wanting to know why we haven’t gotten justice done,” said Rhonda Lynch. Lynch is the wife of Rodney Lynch who last July was taken into police custody in Gallup after his attorney says he called 911 because he was intoxicated.
Gallup police public service officers ended up transporting Lynch to a detoxification center in the area, and you can see as they tried getting him out, a scuffle ensued. The officers get Lynch on the ground and his family’s attorney says one officer had him in a chokehold for more than a minute. Other people from inside the facility come out to help and you can see they realize Lynch goes unconscious. The officers began to render aide but it was too late.
“If you look at the video I can’t tell that Mr. Lynch was being aggressive in any way, but that’s how they depicted it in the reports with State Police,” said Billy Keeler, the attorney representing the Lynch family.
New Mexico State Police investigated the case and it has since been handed over to the New Mexico Attorney General who is now reviewing the case. Gallup Police said Wednesday they have changed their policy as far as what public service officers can do when responded to calls. Police departments across the country have banned chokeholds since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.