A surveillance video shows a Black teenager struggling with the US police force at a Wichita juvenile center in September last year before he died after he was restrained facedown for more than 30 minutes. He was seen struggling to breathe.
Kansas officials released body camera footage on Friday evening in the death of 17-year-old Cedric Lofton, US media reported on Sunday.
The released 18 video clips showed what happened before the Black teenager was rushed to a hospital on September 24, 2021. He died on September 26.
The video show officers taking the boy to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center in Wichita, and then returning after a medical emergency call and finding staff doing CPR, but they do not show what happened at the facility before he stopped breathing.
US authorities ruled his death was a homicide and its cause was “complications of cardiopulmonary arrest sustained after physical struggle while restrained in the prone position.”
But Sedgewick County District Attorney Marc Bennett refused to file charges against the officers quoting the state’s “stands your ground law” and saying the staff was protecting themselves.
Bennett also said he could not justify filing an involuntary manslaughter charge against the officers.
Officials said Lofton was taken to the facility on September 24 after police responded to a disturbance at a home. Officers described Lofton as “paranoid” and “behaving erratically.”
A recent report has revealed the number of Americans killed in encounters with US police has not dropped despite massive protests across the country following the killing of African-American men, George Floyd and Daunte Wright, by white police officers in 2020.
Although former police officers Derek Chauvin and Kimberly Potter were convicted for their roles in the murder of Floyd and Wright respectively, "accountability for officers who kill remains elusive," the New York Times reported Friday, pointing out that since Floyd’s killing in May 2020, more than 1,600 people have been killed by US police officers, citing Mapping Police Violence (MPV), a nonprofit organization that tracks people killed by the police.
Floyd’s death in May 2020 sparked angry protests across the US and across the world.
The protests evolved into a nationwide battle between progressives and far-right groups after former President Donald Trump took a hard-line stance against the anti-racism protests.