Sean Joseph Meade's actions were taped by hidden video cameras at the Central Division station, the Los Angeles Times reported. The cameras were installed because of a vandalism problem.
Sources told the newspaper that Meade, after maintaining the choke hold for several seconds, removed the 16-year-old's handcuffs and told him to fight. The Hispanic teenager, who had been picked up for curfew violation, later said Meade threw him against the wall.
Police Chief William Bratton said that in two recent instances of apparent excessive use of force, the officers' actions might have been justified. But he said Meade's behavior during the incident Tuesday was so clearly outrageous it justified an immediate arrest.
"It is just mind-boggling that we have a situation where a kid is arrested and handcuffed and sitting in a room posing no threat to anyone and this officer just comes in and beats the hell out of him," said John Mack, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
Meade is a 13-year veteran of the LAPD.