Ohio Man Dies in Police Custody After Officer Kneels on His Back as He Says 'I Can't Breathe'

Black man dies in police custody after officer kneels on his back for minutes, echoing George Floyd's death. Incident raises concerns about use of force and delay in medical assistance.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Ohio Man Dies in Police Custody After Officer Kneels on His Back

Ohio Man Dies in Police Custody After Officer Kneels on His Back

Frank Tyson, a 53-year-old Black man, died in police custody in Canton, Ohio on April 18, after an officer knelt on his back for several minutes, causing him to become unresponsive. The incident was captured on graphic body camera footage released by the city.

The video shows officers responding to a single-car crash and then encountering Tyson at a nearby AMVETS lodge. Tyson struggled with the officers, repeatedly stating "They're trying to kill me" and "I can't breathe." Despite his pleas, an officer kept his knee on Tyson's upper body for about 30 seconds. Tyson remained motionless on the floor for over 5 minutes before an officer checked his pulse, and around 8 minutes passed before CPR was attempted.

Tyson was confronted by police after allegedly shearing an electrical pole off the side of the road and fleeing to the veterans club. During the confrontation, one officer knelt on Tyson's back while another handcuffed him. After being handcuffed, Tyson became unresponsive, and it took over 6 minutes before police began CPR. Tyson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Why this matters: The incident has raised concerns about the officers' actions and training, with experts questioning the delay in providing medical assistance. Tyson's death echoes the events preceding the killing of George Floyd in 2020, highlighting ongoing issues with police use of force, particularly against Black individuals.

The Canton Police Department said they immediately contacted the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to conduct an independent investigation, which is ongoing. The two officers involved, Beau Schoenegge and Camden Burch, have been placed on paid administrative leave. The Stark County NAACP has asked a criminal justice team to review the video. The cause of Tyson's death is still pending the coroner's report.

Key Takeaways

  • Frank Tyson, a Black man, died in police custody in Canton, Ohio on April 18, 2024.
  • An officer knelt on Tyson's back for several minutes, causing him to become unresponsive.
  • Tyson repeatedly stated "They're trying to kill me" and "I can't breathe" before becoming unresponsive.
  • The incident has raised concerns about the officers' actions and training, with a delay in providing medical assistance.
  • The two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave, and an independent investigation is ongoing.