‘You Shouldn’t Be Able To Breathe,’ Police Officer Told Tennessee Man Before He Died

2021-05-21 11:34:33

A Tennessee man who died in police custody last year repeatedly told officers he couldn’t breathe and was dismissed, according to new video obtained by local media

William Jennette died last May in Marshall County Jail in Lewisburg after officers hogtied him and knelt on him for nearly four minutes while he begged for air, WTVF reported.

“You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bastard,” a female officer told Jennette as he struggled to breathe, according to the newly released surveillance video of his detainment.

Jennette, 48, had been arrested for public intoxication and indecent exposure. He was “hallucinating” while “detoxing” from drugs, according to a police report. 

“Help me, they’re going to kill me!” Jennette can be heard yelling in the video obtained by WTVF. The footage also shows him being beaten and thrown to the ground by police.  

“Stay down, you stupid son of a bitch,” an officer can be heard telling him.

Seven officers surrounded Jennette as he pleaded for his life while was handcuffed, pepper-sprayed and beaten. His final words — “I’m good” — were met with anger.

“No, you ain’t good. You’re going to lay right there for a fucking minute,” an officer replied.

Moments later, Jennette was dead.

A medical examiner later ruled his death a homicide, but a grand jury declined to charge any of the officers involved.

Dominique Jennette, who is William Jennette’s daughter, is suing the department in federal court.

“That’s just something that really sticks with me, of how scared he must have been and how alone he must have felt,” she told WTVF.

Read the full story at WTVF.


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