A disturbing video (below) of a black man dying from an asthma attack while New York Police Department officers do not perform CPR in September 2013 recently surfaced.
Surveillance footage from the Yankee Stadium subway station in the Bronx shows Barrington Williams, 25, being taken down by officers for allegedly selling illegal subway swipes, the New York Daily News reports.
After being restrained by the officers, Williams is seen going into cardiac arrest. In the video, the officers are seen standing over Williams for 10 minutes without attempting to perform CPR, while holding what appears to be asthma inhaler near the unresponsive man's face.
Police reportedly handcuffed the dying man, searched his pockets, put him in a sitting position and then turned him on his side.
Firefighters arrived first to the scene and attempted basic life support, but police did not remove the handcuffs from Williams until five minutes after paramedics arrived.
"For 10 minutes the officers were indifferent and apathetic to Barrington’s life, and those 10 minutes can be the difference between life and death," Jason Leventhal, a lawyer for Williams' mother, Karen Brown, told the New York Daily News.
Leventhal filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the officers, Joel Guach, Agenol Ramos, Robert O’Brien, in 2015 for excessive police force and denial of medical care. The city recently turned the survelliance video over to Leventhal.
According to Brown, her son has had asthma since he was 2-years-old, and his condition has gotten worse.
"I don’t believe he should have died for a MetroCard swipe," Brown said.
Police are supposed to "render reasonable aid to sick or injured person," according to the NYPD Patrol Guide, but there is no specific rule requiring officers to administer CPR, a rescue aid technique used in emergency situations around the world.
A NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau report said Williams told police he suffered from asthma after he was handcuffed. Williams then proceeded to urinate on himself, foam at the mouth and become unconscious.
The report states: "An ambulance was called as Williams went into cardiac arrest."
A NYPD lieutenant said Williams "appeared to be conscious," while paramedics tried to revive him with CPR. However, the IAB report states that "an abulance was called as Williams went into cardiac arrest."
"While the video is one piece of evidence, there is other information to be gathered and reviewed, and it would be premature to reach any conclusion about what occurred in this case," city Law Department spokesman for the City, Nick Paolucci, said.
It's unclear why evidence is still being gathered in an incident that occurred nearly three years ago.
The Warren Commission's investigation into President Kennedy's assassination lasted less than one year and included reviews of reports by the FBI, Secret Service, U.S. State Department and Texas Attorney General, History reports. The Warren Commission also listened to the testimony of 552 witnesses and visited the shooting scene.
The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau said there was no excessive force by police, and the Bronx district attorney’s office ruled that no crime was committed by the officers, the Daily News reports.