Hit & Run

Baltimore Man Calls 911, Gets Beaten To Death By Responding Cops

Tawan Boyd-scared, confused, and intoxicated-had called police for help. He died three days later.


Confused and paranoid
Boyd Family/WJZ-TV

Tawan Boyd, a 21-year-old Baltimore man, called 911 last week in a frightened and intoxicated state. His girlfriend, Deona Styron—the mother of his 3-year-old son and pregnant with their second child—was heard by the dispatcher as saying "Tell them hurry up!"

When police arrived at Boyd's house, Boyd told officers that his girlfriend had gotten him intoxicated, and begged them to go into the house to search for someone who he believed was secretly recording him. According to a police report, Boyd was "sweating heavily and appeared to be confused and paranoid," and that "it was obvious" that Boyd was under the influence of a narcotic and/or suffering." Styron admitted to police that Boyd had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, but couldn't explain why he suddenly started acting so "crazy."

Officers attempted to calm Boyd and take him for emergency treatment, but when those efforts failed, they grabbed him to place him in custody. The police report indicates Boyd flailed and kicked "while trying to stand" and grabbed an officer "leaving an abrasion" on one side of his neck. In response, Officer Bowman "delivered two closed fist strikes to the suspect's face with his right fist" and finally subdued Boyd with his body weight.

Boyd's family lawyer, Latoya Francis-Williams told The Guardian that officers "were supposed to be there to get him to the nearest healthcare facility," but she says witnesses saw Officer Bowman "really started wailing on Mr Boyd, meaning Mr Boyd was on the ground in a prone position and Bowman sat on him, almost straddled his back, and put his left arm under Boyd's neck and pulled his head up in a choking fashion." Francis-Williams added that witnesses say Boyd had been screaming, "Stop, stop, I can't breathe," until he eventually started "kind of foaming at the mouth or spitting and his body goes limp."

After lying in intensive care for three days, Boyd died last Wednesday, according to WJZ-TV. An autopsy revealing the cause of death could take up to a month to complete, and both the Baltimore police and fire departments are conducting investigations into the incident. WJZ also reports none of the police involved were wearing body cameras, nor have any been placed on administrative leave.

The police report concludes with the issuing of a warrant for Boyd's arrest on charges of resisting arrest and second degree simple assault on police. Read it below:

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  1. Sounds like the Department of Justice really solved things here.

    1. It's because the DOJ just fiddles around the edges and thinks it can solve this stuff with more training and procedural tweaks.

      Until all police unions are summarily disbanded with the entire pension fund distributed to the victims of police violence, we can't even start to work on the real problem.

  2. Not Baltimore, Baltimore County. Totally separate entities.

    1. The forthcoming riots will not be held in Middle River though.

  3. "really started wailing on Mr Boyd, meaning Mr Boyd was on the ground in a prone position and Bowman sat on him, almost straddled his back, and put his left arm under Boyd's neck and pulled his head up in a choking fashion."

    So, cop-speak for "he choked the guy to death"?

    I'm sure that Officer Bowman is looking forward to his 6 month paid vacation followed by complete exoneration. Plus he'll make a few of his cop buddies jealous.

      1. You're right. "All" of his cop buddies.

        1. I wish I was joking, but I'm not. If you ever hear cops talk after a few drinks, you will be both disgusted and terrified.

    1. "suspect" killer of the month award goes to.....

  4. After lying in intensive care for three days, Boyd died last Wednesday

    Ah, so just like Kelly Thomas, the cops didn't kill him, he died from lack of oxygen to the brain.

    1. Look, it's *black* lives matter, not *all* lives matter, you racist.

  5. The arrest warrant seems to say cc Internal Affairs.

  6. If you want to commit suicide, don't do it yourself, just call the police.

    Beaters gotta beat.

  7. Cops love to choke people. It's the second best part of the job, behind killing people.

    1. Its like police are not even taught arm and limb restraint techniques anymore. Its the throat or firearm discharge.

      1. There is a zero tolerance policy for anything that might endanger officer safety. Remember the cop who was recently fired for not killing someone? So if there is a chance that limb restraints might result in them getting a scrape, then they're not allowed. Deescalation is also not allowed, because there is also a zero tolerance policy for noncompliance. If the subject doesn't immediately obey, then violence must be initiated. Be it choking or shooting. But it must be initiated, or else the cop will find themselves unemployed. The only things that can get a cop fired are ratting out on criminal cops, and failing to do great harm to someone who doesn't show sufficient respect.

        1. This is not hyperbole. This is 100% true.

      2. Every cop show has the 100 pound female detective subdue the perp/skell with a simple grab and twist of the thumb, without even messing up her hair. In real life, it takes 5 juiced up muscle heads to beat the shit out of, or shoot, a 150 pound guy.

    2. Killing dogs is only third?

      1. Killing dogs is like fifth after coercing sex from hookers and stealing property from people they pull over. They're not monsters, after all.

  8. This seems to be a legitimately horrible case. The question is where is BLM? Will they take up this case? My contention for a long time has been BLM only takes up close cases because their goal is not to stop police brutality but instead to stir up racial division. Picking close cases ensures that black and white opinion slits over the issue. Picking undeniably outrageous cases doesn't do that. So, if BLM picks up on this case I will be surprised.

    1. Bingo. Race hustlers figured this game out decades ago, BLM is just a new crop in the same field.

    2. We saw this with the Tulsa and Charlotte cases. The national groups jumped all over Charlotte as soon as the family started squawking. But we had video of a fairly clear-cut case of an unjustifiable shooting in Tulsa. And nothing much happened with the national outrage machine.

      My question is, how do they figure it out so quickly? The outrage machine goes into full effect on this list of cases, and they all are borderline at best. The only clear-cut case that I can remember the national groups getting involved in was Tamir Rice, and even in that case the law-and-order crowd had the "he was holding a realistic gun in a public park" argument to fall back on, as well as the "split second decision" gambit. So I guess I have to retract that clear-cut thought.

      But time and time again they skip the Balko nut-punch case to jump on the Rorschach test style case. None of these people have even heard of Kelly Thomas - and that guy was tormented by a fat guy who said he would fuck him up and then proceeded to team up with 5 other guys to beat him to death - all captured on horrifying video.

      They must have some serious talent to be able to continuously identify cases that are not cut and dry when there is a seemingly endless supply of such cases.

      1. The cop was charged with manslaughter fairly quickly in Tulsa. What was there to protest? In Charlotte on the other hand there has been a clusterfuck of obvious weasel behavior by the cops.

        You however are welcome to take to the streets for whatever cause you see fit to protest for.

      2. And the Thomas case got widespread attention and was met with large protests, online activism, million-dollar settlements, and the ousting of local officials.

        1. Just no cops fired.

      3. I suspect it just sort of happens. I'd be surprised if there were explicit plans to pick the marginal cases. But sometimes it really does look deliberate.

        With the recent cases, I think the main reason Charlotte gets so much more attention is because of the rioting. Which seems to have happened fairly organically.

        The decision to keep using Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown as the poster children does seem nuts, though.

        1. The match that lit the Charlotte fire was the media playing the "family member" screaming about "he was just reading a book" and "they just shot him, bam! Bam! Bam!"

          If they had vetted the statement a little or if the police had been a little more media savvy it might not have gone that way.

      4. North Carolina is a swing state, Oklahoma is not...

    3. Ex-fucking-actly. Police brutality is only incidental to their race-hustling goals.

    4. Yes BLM's goal isn't to end the killing of black people by cops, but to make white people hate black people more. What a genius you are.

      1. Actually it seems to have more to do with making black people hate white people more.

        I have no idea what their goal is. If the goal is just to stop police brutality, I seriously question some of their choices.

        1. This. They seem to soft pedal cases like Freddie Gray, where police brutality seems obvious, while fighting for cases where it isn't cut-and-dried.

      2. Stirring up passions causing strife and division is the SOP of the left. The BLM people are overwhelmingly anti-capitalist pinkos. It isnt an coincidence.

      3. They are doing a bang up job.


      4. They're bankrolled by a literal disaster capitalist, so it doesn't seem that farfetched that their agenda is chaos.

  9. Is it possible that whatever the guy was on was what really ended up killing him?

    I get that the police beating didn't help, but isn't saying that he was beaten to death kind of jumping to conclusions? Maybe just a little?

    1. I would think the hospital staff flushed his system once they learned he had serious physical injuries and had a substance in his system that caused such behavior.

      BTW: In civil law, those who contribute to injury are also liable for damages. Criminal law also can punish those who contribute to someone's death.

      Another reason why police escalation of force scrutiny is so important.

      1. Ok, great. I can't stop you from thinking whatever you're going to think. However, that was not indicted in the article.

        Saying the cops beat him to death is different than saying the cops severely beat him and he died three days later.

        1. Saying the cops beat him to death is different than saying the cops severely beat him and he died three days later.

          No it's not. Someone doesn't have to immediately die from their injuries to have been beaten to death. It can take days to succumb, and the beating can still be the cause.

          1. Well alright. Since everyone else appears to be 100% certain that the guy died as a direct result of being beaten I'll just let it go.

        2. Yep, just like Kelly Thomas who got the shit kicked out of him by a bunch of cops and then died of an unrelated thoracic compression.

          1. For those who don't recall, the police actually made this argument. With Kelly's face looking like hamburger and his bones shattered as he lay there in a coma he would never recover from, they had the temerity to claim that he died of completely unrelated conditions.

            And a jury acquitted a man who shook his fist in a completely non-threatening little guy's face and said he was going to use that fist to fuck him up, and then proceeded to do so, ending in the little guy's death. I'm never going to be able to understand that one. That magic uniform shouldn't include a license for premeditated murder of mentally ill homeless people.

            1. I'm never going to be able to understand that one.

              The fact that the courtroom was filled with uniformed officers staring down the jury might have had something to do with it. They didn't want themselves or their family members to be next. Which is exactly what would have happened if they had handed down a guilty verdict.

              1. I had forgotten about that phalanx. It was pretty intimidating, to be sure.

                1. Don't forget that pictures of the jury mysteriously appeared online during the trial.

                  The judge made a big stink about how heads would roll when whoever did that was found out, but nothing ever came of it.

                  Funny how nothing ever came of that.......

  10. Never ever ever call the police

    1. Call them what dammit, finish your thought!

  11. I hope the cop broke his goddamned knuckles.

  12. This case is a pretty good illustration of what is wrong with management in the police departments around the country.

    Properly trained, he never would have initiated violence in this set of circumstances. And simply admitting that in response to getting treated a little roughly by a guy he was attempting to physically take into custody by "delivering two closed-fist strikes to his face" should be enough to get him off of street duty. Yet this appears to be accepted practice.

    Just wailing on some guy's face with your fist is not a valid way to gain compliance. It is a way to stop someone who is trying to harm you.

    But we won't be addressing those issues. Instead we'll have a nice "national conversation" about race, and try to find a way to train police officers to rid themselves of all racist thoughts. Because that'll take care of the police brutality problem.

    1. It is not only accepted, it is how they are trained. There is a zero tolerance policy for noncompliance as well as a zero tolerance policy for anything that might compromise officer safety. Noncompliance is viewed as a threat to officer safety, so violence must be initiated. If they don't punch someone in the head or kill them for failing to obey, then they will find themselves unemployed.

    2. My first thought as well.... How can striking a guy in the face multiple times ever be considered an acceptable law enforcement restraint technique?

      1. Well, you see, there are these spineless fucks called judges. When judges aren't on their knees sucking off cops, they are in the courtroom using their magic wands of "harmless error," "res judicata," and "stari decicis" to propagate rulings that insure these murderous bastards will never be held accountable.

  13. Second WTF observation:

    Why is it that a British publication is doing more investigative reporting here in the US than any of the American papers?

    1. American journalists rely upon cooperation from the police when they write crime stories. They will lose that cooperation if they are critical of the cops. Without that cooperation they will lose their jobs. So it's a matter of job security. Can't dig too deep, or else they will find themselves unemployed.

  14. Was Officer [REDACTED] Bowman on the usual cop diet? No one stands a chance with that on top of you.

  15. If you don't want violence inflicted on someone, don't call the people whose job is to inflict violence on others.

  16. ...subdued Boyd with his body weight.

    IOW, sat on him. I can where that would be fatal given the size of the average fat-shit cop.

  17. An autopsy revealing the cause of death could take up to a month to complete,

    5 days to conduct the autopsy and 25 days to obfuscate the medical and lab reports.

  18. The incident happened in Baltimore County not Baltimore City--They are both politically independent and totally separate police departments .

    1. This is the same award-winning department that arrested a guy at Best Buy for paying with $2 bills.

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