Article by S. Wooten MARCH 6, 2015
The words “I can’t breathe” became part of the national conversation on police brutality after a New York Police Officer choked and killed Eric Garner over what amounted to a cigarette tax of pennies. But now another victim of extrajudicial police killings has used those same words… right before officers killed him in police custody.
Calvon Reid died in police custody in Cocunut Creek, Florida, last Wednesday. He explained to officers that he just wanted to be left alone. But officers said this was not an option for him. They threatened him, cursed at him, and finally attacked him.
He explained that he couldn’t breathe. But that cry fell on deaf ears. Officers tasered him and he eventually died in police custody. Since then, the Coconut Creek Police Department has been trying to cover up the killing. Now the community is demanding answers.
CBS Miami reports that Reid’s death followed an encounter with the Coconut Creek police. The police are now being accused of a cover-up as they have claimed that the details surrounding the death of Reid are “confidential” and that the public and press have no right to access this information.
Just days ago the CCPD was even citing federal laws on confidentiality and health care to suggest that they could not even confirm that Reid had died. They were, of course, pulling this completely out of their nether regions.
John Arendale and Bonnie Eshleman were eye-witnesses to the killing. They both work for the Broward County school system and are trusted members of the community. They witnessed the incident Sunday, February 22nd, and provide us with some of the most detailed accounts.
They say they aren’t certain what caused the incident, but one of their neighbors inside the Wynmoor Village complex said that Reid had approached had come up to one of the residents and asked for them to take him to the hospital. Reid was hurt, but it was unclear why or how the injury had been caused.
The resident at the condominium complex called 911 for the paramedics. When they arrived, five officers showed up and confronted Reid, who they described as “belligerent.”
Reid apparently had a long list of minor marijuana offenses, and did not want to talk to the police. Arendale and Eshleman were awakened by the noise of the dispute.
Arendale said he heard officers yell “don’t move or I’ll break your f*cking arm.”
Eshleman added that one officer beat Reid in the head with a metal baton once he was already on the ground. She claims that Reid never fought back for a second.
After being on the ground, he was handcuffed and complained that he couldn’t breathe. Moments later, officers rolled him onto his back and discovered that he was dead… Maybe he couldn’t breathe.
Paramedics on the scene confirmed that he was dead by the time officers rolled him over. When he said “I can’t breathe,” he was literally begging for his life. Even though this man had committed no crime, the Coconut Creek Police killed him. Help us spread the word. This needs should be headline news across the country.
(Article by S. Wooten)
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