The Tucson, Arizona police chief offered to resign after a 27-year-old Hispanic man died in handcuffs and begged “I can’t breathe” more than two months ago.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus made the offer during a press conference on Wednesday, where he revealed disturbing body camera images showing the ‘horrible’ death of Carlos Ingram-López as he was detained by three police officers on April, the 21st.
Ingram-Lopez died after he was immobilized for more than 12 minutes while begging for water and said he couldn’t breathe, the same words spoken by black man George Floyd who was ‘killed’ by a white cop in Minneapolis last month.
Three police officers involved in his arrest, identified as Jonathan Jackson, Samuel Routledge and Ryan Starbuck, have already resigned from the force after an internal investigation recommended their dismissal.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus made the offer during a press conference on Wednesday, where he revealed disturbing body camera images showing the “horrible” death of Carlos Ingram-López as he was detained by three police officers on April, the 21st.
Magnus called the 27-year-old’s death “terrible tragedy” and “horrible” at Wednesday’s press conference.
“I can’t say enough, this is a terrible tragedy,” said the police chief.
“The officers, in this case, did not measure up to the high level of our department,” he said, adding that if they had not resigned they would have been fired by the department.
In the shocking body camera images, the three police officers are seen arriving at Ingram-Lopez’s grandmother’s house around 1 a.m. after she called 911 to report a domestic disturbance.
“She reported that he was drunk, screaming and running naked around the house,” Magnus said.
In the 25-minute video, police officers are seen running after the naked man to a dimly lit garage where they handcuff him and arrest him face down on the ground.
Ingram-Lopez is visibly distressed in the video and is repeatedly heard saying ‘sorry’, screaming and making gasping noises.
At one point, he says, “I can’t breathe,” and repeatedly pleads with the officers for water.
“I wish I had some water,” he is heard to say. Can you give me some water?
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The disturbing body camera images released Wednesday show Ingram-López died on April 21 after three police officers held him for more than 12 minutes during his arrest at his grandmother’s home.
In the 25-minute body camera images (pictured) he is heard begging for water and at one point says ‘I can’t breathe’
Several minutes in the police cover him with a blanket before he does not respond to the 12 minutes of the video.
Around eight minutes after the video, officers cover her naked body with a blanket.
The police keep telling him to “relax” and “calm the shit.”
At one point, one of the officers threatens to attack him: “You are going to be surprised, friend, you are going to be sapped.”
Around 12 minutes into the video, the policemen realize that the man is not responding.
“He has fallen,” one of the officers is heard saying.
Are you breathing? another asks.
Officers try to wake him up, yelling ‘hey’ as a distressed woman enters the garage asking what has happened.
The cops then move Ingram-Lopez and are seen performing CPR on him.
Magnus said the police officers also gave him Narcan as they were concerned that he had taken a drug overdose.
Ingram-Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene after the emergency services arrived and was also unable to revive him.
The Pima County medical examiner said his cause of death was “sudden cardiac arrest” and that he had “acute cocaine poisoning and an enlarged heart.”
They added that “there was no shooting” in the arrest of the man.
‘The person had been handcuffed. No blows, knocks, strangles, knee to neck, chemical or electronic weapons were used. They didn’t fire, “they said.
However, the police chief and the mayor have criticized the actions of the officers.
‘In this video, we see a clearly distressed person. A person asking for water, asking for help, asks for their nanny, ‘Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said of the body camera images at a press conference on Wednesday.
‘Now we must focus the conversation on police accountability and transparency. When officers do not perform as trained, they must be held accountable. ‘
Romero criticized the failures of his office and the public to be notified of the death of the man in police custody immediately after it occurred.
Police Chief Chris Magnus (pictured) called the 27-year-old’s death “terrible tragedy” and “horrible” at Wednesday’s press conference.
“People are crazy, people are disappointed and with good reason,” he said.
She called for a “quick but thorough investigation” into the death of the Hispanic man and promised to reform the police force.
He also praised Magnus as “an honest, great Tucson city police chief” and said he did not know about his offer to resign before the meeting.
It is still unclear whether the offer from the police chief will be accepted.
The images were released more than two months after the incident.
Romero said earlier Wednesday that he was delaying at the request of Ingram-Lopez’s family, who had not yet seen him.
All three police officers Jackson, Routledge and Starbuck resigned over the incident last week after an investigation by the TPD said they were guilty of failing to take appropriate action, use of force and service actions, KOLD reported. .com.
“ The investigation revealed a series of actions by each of the three focus officers that showed complete disregard for the training provided to each, disregard for the established policy, but most importantly, an apparent indifference or inability to recognize a individual in medical trouble and making the right decision. “Action to alleviate distress,” deputy director Kevin Hall wrote in the investigation.
The death came to light when a Tucson City Council meeting in which police funding was debated was suddenly canceled.
Mayor Romero said: “After viewing yesterday a video of a death in custody of the Tucson Police Department, I do not think it is appropriate to continue business as usual in light of this event.”
A review board that makes recommendations to the Tucson Police Department has not met since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jaime Tadeo, a board member, said recommendations were made to the department about police training.
“There have been open conversations with TPD about transparency, about how they are handling their trainings lately, including how well they are trained to deal with substance use,” Tadeo said.
The death of the Hispanic man follows a series of deaths of people of color while in police custody as calls to end police brutality and systemic racism and to sweep police reforms across the country increase.
The protests were sparked after the “murder” of the black man Floyd from Memorial Day at the hands of a white police officer who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while saying “I can’t breathe.”
In addition to demanding justice for Floyd, protesters are also demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and, more recently, Rayshard Brooks.