The news is out: [Video released of five North Carolina detention officers restraining an inmate in a cell shows the prisoner saying “I can’t breathe” before he lost consciousness and died two days later.
The five officers and a nurse were charged last month with involuntary manslaughter in the December 2019 death of John Neville, a 56-year-old Black man, at Forsyth County Detention Center in Winston-Salem.
Neville was being held at the facility on a pending assault charge when he apparently fell from the top bunk of his bed onto a concrete floor, prompting officers to check on him, according to authorities.
The five detention officers restrained him facedown and attempted to unlock the handcuffs, but required the use of bolt cutters to remove them from Neville’s wrists.
Again, Neville said he was having trouble breathing, to which a guard responded, “You can breathe — you’re talking aren’t you?”
Neville died two days later in an area hospital, after jail staff found him not breathing and could not detect a pulse. A medical examiner said he ultimately died from a brain injury that was caused by the way he was being restrained.]
Not the first, won’t be the last. But this must stop.