Newly surfaced body camera footage shows Phoenix cops restraining a 28-year-old man on scorching asphalt in the Arizona heat on Aug. 4, Insider reports. The man later died.
A Phoenix Police Department officer was responding to a woman’s report that a man was “holding his private parts” and “making obscene gestures and looking into cars.”
The man, Ramon Lopez, reportedly fled when police approached him. He then went into a store, bought a drink, and threw it at the officer.
The footage released by Phoenix police shows Lopez running from the officer before he pinned Lopez to the ground as Lopez struggled to break free.
According to the narration on the video, two other officers arrived at the scene to help the officer restrain him.
In the video, Lopez can be heard screaming while officers held him to the ground, holding down his hands as he continues to groan.
“You gotta relax,” says one officer after a few minutes. Sirens are heard in the background.
In the video, even after Lopez complies, the officer is seen kneeling on his back, while another holds him by the feet.
According to AZ Central, within minutes of being restrained on the ground, Lopez became unresponsive.
In the body camera footage, a fourth officer is seen arriving at the scene and trying to wake Lopez up from the back of the police car.
Officers are then seen dragging him out of the car, his face down, before he’s put on the ground.
“C’mon, c’mon, you OK?” an officer says.
“Wake up! Wake up buddy,” says another officer, shaking him from the sided.
“He’s breathing,” an officer says.
Police then took Lopez to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
According to Insider, the police department launched an investigation on the incident. Lopez’s family said he had paranoid schizophrenia and suffered from intense anxiety. His cause of death is unknown.
The officers involved were Todd Stevens, Andrew Williams, and Roszell Mosley.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who has taken George Floyd’s case, tweeted about Lopez’s death.
“Phoenix officers pinned down Ramon Timothy Lopez, who suffers from schizophrenia, on the scorching hot pavement… where he soon went unresponsive and DIED,” he wrote. “Another failure of Phoenix PD to serve and protect! When will officers learn that excessive force is ALWAYS wrong?!”
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