Black man in Ohio tells police before he died, video shows By Reuters


By Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) – Ohio police released video of a Black man who died at a local hospital after repeatedly telling officers “I can’t breathe” as they pinned him to the floor of a bar and handcuffed him, evoking memories of the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

In body camera video released on Thursday by the Canton Police Department, officers are seen apprehending the man, identified as Frank Tyson, 53, who was suspected of leaving the scene of a single-car accident on April 18.

The Canton Police Department was not immediately available for comment on the video, which was posted online by several local media outlets, or to confirm details about the incident.

The 36-minute clip begins with a patrol officer coming upon a car that had struck an electrical pole and a bystander telling him that the driver of the vehicle had fled into a nearby tavern.

Officers are then seen entering the establishment, where they find Tyson standing at the bar. An altercation ensued as they attempted to grab his arms, and he repeatedly shouts “They are trying to kill me” and “Call the sheriff.”

Officers wrestled Tyson to the ground and handcuffed him. One of them is seen placing a knee on his back near his neck for about 30 seconds.

Tyson can be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe. I can’t… get off my neck,” as an officer yells “Calm down” and “You’re fine” before standing up.

The video next shows Tyson lying motionless, face down on the floor for about six minutes, while officers speak with bar patrons.

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The officers then check on Tyson, who appears to be unresponsive. They can be heard saying, “Is he breathing?” and “Does he have a pulse?”

Eight minutes after the officers handcuffed Tyson, they remove the cuffs and begin CPR. Paramedics then arrive at the scene and take Tyson out of the bar on a stretcher and into a waiting ambulance, the video shows.

Tyson died at a local hospital, according to WKYC, an NBC affiliate in Cleveland. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report. The official cause of death has not been determined.

The incident is reminiscent of Floyd’s deadly encounter with Minneapolis police four years ago. A cellphone video of Floyd’s killing, which went viral, unleashed a wave of protests worldwide against police brutality and racism.

It shows a white officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd, who was Black, begs for his life, repeating “I can’t breathe” before falling silent.

Chauvin and three of his fellow officers was eventually convicted of manslaughter and other crimes.

The Canton Police Department officers involved in the Tyson incident were identified as Beau Schoenegge and Camden Burch, WKYC reported.

Both were placed on administrative leave and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (OCI) is investigating the incident, the station reported.

Calls to the OCI were not immediately returned.

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