Texas Man Dies in Police Custody at Dallas Hospital, Bodycam Footage Reveals Tragic Final Moments

Tragic death of Texas man in police custody sparks outrage, calls for justice and transparent investigation into officers' actions.

Shivani Chauhan
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Texas Man Dies in Police Custody, Sparking Community Outrage

Texas Man Dies in Police Custody at Dallas Hospital, Bodycam Footage Reveals Tragic Final Moments

The disturbing death of a Texas man while in police custody at a Dallas hospital has sparked outrage and raised questions about the use of force by law enforcement. Kenneth Knotts, 41, died at UT Southwestern Medical Center on November 29, 2022, after being denied water and restrained by multiple hospital police officers while pleading, "I can't breathe," as revealed by recently released bodycam footage.

Why this matters: The incident has reignited concerns about police brutality and the treatment of individuals in custody, particularly those experiencing mental health crises. Knotts' death, which was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, highlights the need for improved training and protocols when dealing with individuals in distress.

Key details:

  • Knotts was taken to the hospital by police for a mental health evaluation following a traffic stop while on a road trip with his family.
  • Despite his pleas for water and complaints about tight handcuffs, hospital staff deemed him uncooperative and denied his requests.
  • Multiple hospital police officers restrained Knotts, pressing down on his back and limbs as he yelled, "I can't breathe," echoing the final words of Eric Garner and George Floyd.
  • The medical examiner ruled that the officers' actions, restraining Knotts in a "semi-prone position," led to his death by sudden cardiac arrest.

Community response and calls for justice: Knotts' family, through their attorney Geoff Henley, has expressed their grief and frustration at the lack of answers surrounding his death. They have filed a lawsuit against the hospital and are demanding accountability for those responsible.

The hospital's response: UT Southwestern Medical Center has declined to release the footage or identify the officers involved, and had not previously disclosed Knotts' death. The hospital has not provided a public statement regarding the incident or the lawsuit.

Legal proceedings: In November, a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict any of the hospital police officers or medical workers in connection with Knotts' homicide. The family's lawsuit against the hospital remains ongoing.