A newly released body camera footage from last year has shown a black suspect being pinned down to death in Oklahoma City. The footage, which was released by the Oklahoma City Police Department this week shows three police officers restraining the man, Derrick Scott, 42, while he repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” before he died at a local hospital.
An officer placed her knee between Scott’s shoulder blades while she forced his hands behind his back in the 13 minutes video. According to reports, Scott could be heard repeatedly asking for his medicine from the May 20, 2019 footage.
“I don’t care,” one of the officers, Jarred Tipton, can be heard replying at one point.
“You can breathe just fine,” another officer can be heard saying a couple of minutes later.
After a few minutes, Scott appeared unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The cause of his death, according to autopsy report, was a collapsed lung, The Oklahoman reported.
The autopsy further listed methamphetamine use, asthma, emphysema, heart disease, and fatal trauma as significant factors that led to his death. His manner of death was listed as “undetermined.”
Prior to Scott’s arrest, the footage showed him running from officers after Tipton asked if he had any weapons. After the police tackle and restrain him, one of the officers can be seen removing a handgun from his pocket, NBC News reported.
According to a statement released by the Oklahoma City police, Capt. Larry Withrow, the incident began after officers were called to an area south of downtown Oklahoma City shortly before 2 pm after someone reported that a black man was arguing with people and brandishing a gun.
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He acknowledged that police “frequently” hear suspects crying, “I can’t breathe,” but brushed aside suggestions that it was improper of Tipton to say, “I don’t care.” Officers also suggested on multiple occasions that Scott was only pretending to be unconscious, Washington Post reported.
Winthrow later disclosed that an investigation into the three officers, Tipton, Ashley Copeland, and Sgt. Jennifer Titus, has cleared them of any misconduct.
Meanwhile, local activists and Scott’s relatives have challenged authorities, stating that they were “bothered by how they treated his life.”
“There is a lack of a focus on humanity and civility,” added Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, of Black Lives Matter OKC. Authorities released the footage after the group included it in a list of demands to city leaders after protests over the death of George Floyd earlier this month.
The newly released footage has come at a time where protests have gone rife following the death of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. The term, “I can’t breathe” has become synonymous with the black struggle. Manuel Ellis, Byron Williams, Javier Ambler, Christopher Lowe, and Eric Gardner all died as a result of police brutality.