A District of Columbia jury on Friday awarded $1.2 million to a man whose vocal cords were crushed by a police choke-hold after he got into a dispute with officers at the scene of a 1985 traffic accident.

Townsend W. Janey, 51, an employee of the National Security Agency, had come to the scene of a May 1985 accident involving his son, Derek, and berated police for taking too long to arrive.He soon found himself in an officer's choke-hold.

"I was moving my hand back and forth, trying to get some air in there, and I felt I was passing out, but I don't ever remember hitting the ground," he recalled on Friday.

Janey was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, but the case was thrown out by a D.C. judge in June 1985. Three investigations by the city found that the arrest was groundless and excessive force had been used.

Two officers were disciplined in connection with the incident.

City officials said the Superior Court jury's award was excessive and would be appealed.