Zambo cop sacked for ‘George Floyd’ arrest

A VIRAL Facebook video which showed him kneeling on a man he had accosted for quarantine protocol violations in Zamboanga City has triggered the administrative relief and investigation of the chief of the Zamboanga City Police Station 7, Police Regional Office 9 director, Brigadier General Jesus D. Cambay Jr. announced yesterday.

Major Jivertson Pelovello was transferred to the PRO9 Regional Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit pending the conduct of the investigation on the viral Facebook post which showed him pinning an unidentified man down the ground by kneeling on his neck before stepping on his stomach.

The video was reminiscent of the case of George Floyd, the late black American who gasped ‘I can’t breathe’ while a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck last May 25 and triggered hundreds of violent protests across the United States.

The US protesters demanded that the white American cop be charged and jailed without bail.

Cambay said he has directed Zamboanga City Police Office chief, Colonel Thomas Joseph I. Martir to issue the relief orders for Pelovello to give way to the investigation of the July 23 viral video.

“His administrative relief is part of our procedure to give way to impartial investigation free of any influence by reason of office or position. It is unfortunate that the viral video seems to suggest brutality or application of unreasonable force disproportionate to subdue a semmingly cooperative suspect,” said the Western Mindanao police director.

Cambay pointed out that the video posted may not have captured the whole story, hence, the conduct of investigation. He however said that Pelovello had to resort to such a restraint technique when the suspect appeared to be uncooperative.

The police major who was in full combat uniform said he tried to accost the man and a companion for driving a motorcycle without face masks and helmets. However, the two ignored him and tried to flee prompting him to go after them until he caught up with the man on the video.

Cambay assured the public that the PNP which is a professional organization always accords suspects under custody with proper protection and utmost respect for human rights.

“The PNP organization will never tolerate its police personnel who perform their duty beyond what is being laid down in the PNP operational procedure,” he said.