He added in another tweet: “I found cases where police:
-cited vague ‘medical emergencies’ without disclosing officers caused the emergencies through use of force.
-falsely claimed civilians were armed
-falsely claimed they overdosed-blatantly misrepresented the civilian's actions before the killing”
In one case Levin reported on, Dujuan Armstrong, 23, died inside the Santa Rita Jail in what the Almeda County sheriff described as a "drug overdose" following a spokesman’s account that Armstrong was acting "bizarre."
“Body-cam footage showed deputies had strapped Armstrong in a full-body restraining jacket and put a spit mask over his head while transporting him within the jail,” Levin tweeted. “The coroner determined Armstrong died of asphyxiation due to the tight restraint and hood. There was no overdose.”
In a San Mateo case, the sheriff's office accused Chinedu Okobi, 36, of “running in and out of traffic” and “immediately" assaulting the deputy who tried to contact him. "The suspect was also transported to the hospital, where it was later learned that he died," a sheriff representative said in a media statement. "Okobi was on the SIDEWALK when an officer approached to stop him by claiming he had jaywalked, and it was then that Okobi walked into the street, away from police," Levin tweeted. "A group of officers tried to detain him + repeatedly Tased him, causing him to fall and scream in pain."
Levin added: “When a cop hit Okobi with his baton, Okobi swung back at him. There was no ‘immediate assault.’ The coroner ruled Okobi’s death a homicide, citing the Taser shocks and being restrained. The first press release had made no mention of Tasers, and neither did some first news reports.”
Ebele Okobi, the victim's sister, told Levin that officials painted a picture of a brother as "a wild, agressive person that they had no choice but to kill" and "because he's dead, he can't speak for himself … They kill the person twice,” she said. “The police killed him and then their statement kills his reputation.”
Vallejo police accused Angel Ramos, 20, of being armed with a knife when they shot him for having attacked a minor. Levin tweeted: “No knife was recovered near Angel. What’s more, two officers said they had not seen him holding a knife. Two paramedics said they had seen no knife near his body. And the teenage victim told police and later testified that Angel didn’t have a knife.”
Take a look at how police initially described Floyd being murdered:
Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction
May 25, 2020 (MINNEAPOLIS) On Monday evening, shortly after 8:00 pm, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of a forgery in progress. Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.
Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.
At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to investigate this incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department.
No officers were injured in the incident.
Body worn cameras were on and activated during this incident.
The GO number associated with this case is 20-140629.
Now, if you can stand it, watch what the full body camera footage shows:
Chris Vanderveen, director of reporting at the NBC-affiliated 9News Denver, tweeted on April 20 that his news team found more than 100 cases similar to George Floyd's in that the victims died face down on the ground. "Very few received little more than local news coverage," he said. More than two-thirds of the victims in the cases 9News tracked were Black or Hispanic, and most were mentally ill, the news network reported.
They died despite a U.S. Department of Justice directive in 1995 that stated: “As soon as the suspect is handcuffed, get him off his stomach … In a recent analysis of in-custody deaths, we discovered evidence that unexplained in-custody deaths are caused more often than is generally known by a little-known phenomenon called positional asphyxia … a person lying on his stomach has trouble breathing when pressure is applied to his back,” authors of the Justice Department report wrote.
Jack Ryan, a national law enforcement training officer and former cop, told 9News there's really no downside to getting a suspect out of the prone position after handcuffing. “I’ve said in training that we ought to have it printed on the tip of the dashboard of the police car or maybe tattooed on the backs of peoples’ hands: ‘Get off of them, and get them into a position that facilitates breathing,’” the training officer said. “This is important stuff.”
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