Canton Man Dies in Police Custody, Sparking Calls for Justice and Reform

Frank Tyson, 53, died after being arrested by Canton police officers following a car crash, with body camera footage showing officers applying a knee to his upper back and neck area. The incident has sparked outrage and calls for justice, with the officers placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

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Canton Man Dies in Police Custody, Sparking Calls for Justice and Reform

Canton Man Dies in Police Custody, Sparking Calls for Justice and Reform

Frank E. Tyson, a 53-year-old Canton Township man, died on April 18, 2024, after being arrested by Canton police officers following a car crash near the eastern city limits. The incident has ignited outrage and demands for justice from Tyson's family, civil rights attorneys, and community leaders who are calling for a thorough investigation into the actions of the arresting officers.

This incident highlights the ongoing issue of police brutality and the use of excessive force, particularly against people of color, which has led to numerous deaths and sparked widespread protests and calls for reform. The outcome of this investigation and any subsequent actions taken will have significant implications for police accountability and community trust.

Body camera footage, released on April 25, shows officers struggling to get Tyson to the floor, handcuffing him face down, and applying a knee to his upper back and neck area for about a minute. In the video, Tyson can be heard repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe." Shockingly, it took officers approximately 8 minutes to realize Tyson didn't have a pulse, at which point an officer removed the handcuffs and began administering chest compressions in a futile attempt to revive him.

The arresting officers, Beau Schoenegge and Camden Burch, have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations. Autopsy results are also pending, and no official cause of death has been determined at this time.

Nationally prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Tyson's family, drew comparisons to the deaths of Eric Garner and George Floyd, asking,"How many more Black men in America have to tell police officers 'I can't breathe' before police actually believe these Black men fighting for their last breaths on this earth?"Crump emphasized the urgent need for justice, stating,"The reason we have to get justice for Frank Tyson is because it's been far too many Black men and Black women who said 'I can't breathe'."

Attorney Bobby DiCello, who is also representing the family, criticized the officers' actions, saying,"When a man tells you he can't breathe, you are never allowed to say 'Shut the F up.'"Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to deliver the eulogy at Tyson's funeral next week, further highlighting the national attention this case has attracted.

Why this matters: At a press conference, Tyson's family members and representatives from the County NAACP and Greater County Urban League called for justice, answers, accountability, and due process. Hector McDaniel, president of the Local NAACP, read from a letter asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the practices of the Canton Police Department. Justice Department to investigate the practices of the CantonPolice Department. Thomas West, president and CEO of the Greater Regional County Urban League, urged the Canton Police Department to adopt the National Urban League's 21 Pillars to redefine public safety and restore community trust.

Frank Tyson had been released from prison shortly before his death, after serving 24 years for kidnapping and other charges. Attorney Crump claimed that the two victims in the kidnapping case recanted their statements, alleging that a prosecutor told them to lie. Tyson was reportedly afraid of Canton police officers, claiming he was wrongfully convicted.

Tyson's family and supporters remain committed to seeking justice and police accountability while the investigation into his death continues. The incident has reignited discussions about the use of force by law enforcement and the urgent need for systemic changes to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. The Canton community, along with the nation, anxiously awaits answers and action in response to this devastating loss of life.

Key Takeaways

  • Frank Tyson, 53, died after being arrested by Canton police following a car crash.
  • Body cam footage shows officers using excessive force, with Tyson saying "I can't breathe."
  • Officers took 8 minutes to realize Tyson had no pulse, sparking outrage and calls for justice.
  • Two officers are on administrative leave pending investigation, with autopsy results pending.
  • Civil rights leaders, including Ben Crump, are calling for systemic changes to prevent similar tragedies.