Police Abuse

Man Complains He Can't Breathe, Yells Police Are Killing Him—Dies in Police Custody

Calvon Reid dies in Cocunut Creek, Florida, after being Tased multiple times. 911 called when he asked someone for a ride to the hospital.

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Broward County Sheriff's Office

Calvon Reid died in police custody in Cocunut Creek, Florida, last Wednesday after being tased repeatedly to force compliance—witnesses now say he was yelling out that police were going to kill him, and at point complained that he couldn't breathe as officers tried to subdue him. As usual, police don't want to talk about it, stoking more controversy. As CBS Miami reports:

Reid's death following an encounter with the Coconut Creek police sparked controversy this week when police were accused of trying to cover up what happened by claiming all details surrounding the incident were "confidential" and the public did not have the right to even the most basic information. At one point the department refused to acknowledge the death by citing federal privacy statutes on healthcare records.

[John] Arendale and [Bonnie] Eshleman, who both work for the Broward County school system, offer the first independent, eyewitness accounts of what happened during the early morning hours of Sunday, February 22. Their accounts were first published by the news website, BrowardBulldog.org.

Arendale and Eshleman said they are still not certain what prompted the encounter between Reid and police. One of their neighbors inside the Wynmoor Village complex told them that Reid had approached one of the residents in the parking lot of the gated community asking the man to take him to the hospital. Reid had been injured, but it's not certain how he was hurt. The condo resident called 911 and asked that paramedics come and check on Reid. But when the paramedics arrived, Reid reportedly became belligerent with them. The police were summoned and as many as five officers confronted Reid.

It was sometime during that confrontation, in front of Eshleman and Arendale's condominium, that the couple was awakened.

Eshleman said as they watched the affair play out, one of the officers tried to speak to Reid in a calm voice, asking him for his name and identification. He also wanted to know how he had gotten into the complex and if he was visiting anyone there.

It appeared Reid, however, just wanted to be left alone. A check of criminal records reveals that Reid has a lengthy criminal record for drug possession.

The Department of Justice report on Ferguson released this week pointed to various policing-as-revenue-generation incidents as one of the contributing factors to the police department's systematic abuse of poor, mostly minority residents. It identified "failure to comply" as one of the tools used to criminalize residents. Although it's not as politically correct, yet, for the DOJ to note, certainly laws like "drug possession" serve the same purpose.

A report from the White House, meanwhile, listed a litany of ways poor police behavior contributes to poor police-community relations. Offensive language was one of those behaviors listed in the report, and something heard in the Coconut Creek incident. "Don't move or I'll break your fucking arm," Arendale says he heard a police officer shout at Reid before Reid eventually died in police custody. The White House report recommends more training, naturally, as one solution. Zero tolerance for the kind of behavior that could be a warning side of future violent behavior, also not as politically correct, is among other solutions, not mentioned in the White House report, that could work better to prevent unnecessary police violence.

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  1. Can’t confirm death because of HIPPA? That’s some well-played bullshit mr statist. Claw clap

  2. My in laws live near there. The disconnect of my MIL is simply staggering. She is a law and order type but at the same time advises her sons to be very careful when interacting with the police since they are Hispanic. I use to argue with her now I just drink rum with my FIL.

    1. now I just drink rum with my FIL.

      Excellent plan.

  3. at [one] point complained that he couldn’t breathe as officers tried to subdue him.

    “Oh, that’s what they *all* say!”

    1. Since I have 2 younger brothers, I know that if you cam talk you can breath.

      1. Until you can’t.

  4. [The DOJ report] identified “failure to comply” as one of the tools used to criminalize residents.

    In addition to “failure to enroll in Democratcare”?

  5. STOP FUCKING KILLING PEOPLE. Learn to back off a little and deescalate for fuck’s sake.

    If I had acted like a cop, I could have laid waste to 2/3rds of Parwan Province, Afghanistan in 2004-2005.

    1. Sad that troops in a combat zone are more strictly held accountable for their actions against potential enemy combatants than cops are held against American citizens.

    2. Yes, but they shot back. If the average American had some Pashtunwali running in their veins, the majority of these cops would think twice about escalating these situations because they wouldn’t want to spend the rest of their lives walking on prosthetics.

    3. Look man it’s a war zone when you’re on the wrong side of these gated communities. And us homeland laser tag warriors don’t have all that kewl artillery, jets, and nukes and shit to back us up like you guys do…

    4. If they back off it’ll be seen as WEAKNESS and chaos will ensue.

  6. Zero tolerance for the kind of behavior that could be a warning side of future violent behavior…

    Zero tolerance only works for one side. Everyone knows that.

  7. #stillcantbreathe

  8. So what are the death panels EMTs supposed to do? The paramedics responded to a call, the guy indicated he didn’t accept their authoritah to administer Obamacare whether he liked it or not , so they called in the executioners. It’s the principle of the thing, goddammit.

    1. That’s the part of the story that doesn’t make sense to me. Most of the EMTs I’ve met have been decent, level headed people. It seems odd that they would call the cops without a valid reason.

      1. Yes, I would like to know who called the cops myself – seems to me that if was the paramedics, the proper response from the cops would be to arrest the paramedics for assault and battery and/or attempted abduction. If the guy doesn’t want medical attention, or any other kind of attention from them, what law says the paramedics have the right to force their attentions on the guy? And even if it were somebody else calling the cops over the guy becoming belligerent with the paramedics, well, it seems appropriate to get belligerent if somebody’s trying to mess with you, even if (or perhaps especially if) they’re insisting they’re messing with you ‘for your own good’.

      2. A person with lung disease can, often, become agitated from the low oxygen. It is the prime reason ER doctors are taught not to give Valium to a person in respiratory distress. I think his confusion is a logical result of not being able to breathe. Too bad the EMT-s did not remember the facts about dealing with patients who may be hypoxic.

  9. “Eshleman also said she recalled that while Reid was on the ground, one of the officers struck him in the head with what appeared to be a metal baton.”

    Stop not resisting?

  10. Too bad they didn’t bust out their phones and take a video.

    Without video, you can be 100% sure nothing will happen.

    Video knocks that percentage down to, what 90%?

  11. when the paramedics arrived, Reid reportedly became belligerent with them. The police were summoned and as many as five officers confronted Reid.

    That is going to get you into a confrontation with the police. You will always lose that confrontation, sometimes fatally.

    But the PD is acting like typical arrogant pigs by refusing to address public concerns. Perception is 3/4 of the battle, and they are losing that battle, badly.

    1. Derpfee tells me they are WINNING!

      So there.

    2. A person with lung disease can, often, become agitated from the low oxygen. It is the prime reason ER doctors are taught not to give Valium to a person in respiratory distress. I think his confusion is a logical result of not being able to breathe. Too bad the EMT-s did not remember the facts about dealing with patients who may be hypoxic.

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  13. Sorry, but it sounds as if Reid may have brought about his own demise by acting in a way that required bringing in the police when he had already received the help he requested. Only Reid, the paramedics, and the police who responded have all the first hand facts relating to the incident. The only question I have is why was he tased? If the police had a legitimate reason for tasing him then that’s all that’s needed to be disclosed.

    1. He is agitated because he is low on oxygen. The police are called because he is agitated. There will be no further need for oxygen.

      Problem solved.

  14. The way to stop cops from killing more people, or you, is to kill them first.

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