Surveillance and bodycam footage shows Tennessee police officers telling a jailed father of five that he shouldn’t be able to breathe as they restrained him only moments before he suffocated to death.
William Jennette, 48, died after being pinned to the ground by police and correctional officers while he was in custody in Lewisburg, south of Nashville, on May 6 last year.
The newly surfaced footage, which was acquired by WTVF, shows the officers grappling with William Jennette and calling for backup after he refused to get into a restraint chair in a Marshall County Jail.
He’d been detained two days beforehand for resisting detention, public drunkenness and indecent display, but it’s not clear if he had a prior record beyond what was his most recent arrest, and a news outlet has requested records from the local police department.
The footage shows William Jennette appearing from his cell and then struggling with the officers when they tried to put him in the chair.
One officer could be seen pushing William Jeannette into a wall before other officers and police, who were in the area at the time, hurry to help.
As he was wrestled to the ground, William Jennette could be heard yelling: ‘Help me, they’re going to kill me.’
Multiple police and correctional officers held him down as William Jennette yelled for them to get off him.
One officer said, ‘Stay down you stupid son of a b***h.’
Another officer could be heard saying ‘Go get leg restraints before you do anything else, go get leg restraints.’
After William Jennette said for the first time that he couldn’t breathe, a female officer replied: ‘You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid b*d.’
The officers proceeded to hold William Jenette down and could be seen bending his legs towards his back.
One officer then said they should be careful not to suffocate him.
The officer said: ‘Easy, easy. Remember asphyxiation, guys.’
Another replied: ‘That’s why I’m not on his lungs, to let him breathe.’
The last thing William Jennette said before his death was ‘I’m good.’ An officer replied, saying: ‘No, you ain’t good. You’re going to lay right there for a f***ing minute.’
A medical examiner ruled that he died as a result of asphyxiation and the drugs that were in his system, including methamphetamine.
His death was ruled a homicide but a grand jury refused to charge any of the officers involved.
Of course, someone in withdrawal is much more prone to die, but this still doesn’t make it okay, and the US need to stop recruiting police from insane asylums, and why is this still going on? And they’re so shameless, they know they’re on camera but keep going until they kill someone – perhaps when enough of them are convicted of murder they’ll then stop.
Police officer were trusted back in the day because people always had a positive experience with them, but now when they see this stuff going on and the awful way they speak to people, it does make one wonder how they got into this line of work.
Thank goodness for video footage, but even with the cameras, cops are getting away with murders every day.
This guy wasn’t armed, he wasn’t violent but he was murdered by the very people that are paid to protect.