News   /   Society

US police violence: Man with mental issues dies after confrontation with cops

Body-camera footage shows police officers trying to subdue Nikon Brandon on the street in Salt Lake City on Sunday, on August 14, 2022. (Photo via AP)

A man with mental issues died an hour after he was confronted for at least five minutes by Salt Lake City police in the US state of Utah, body camera footage showed, in another case of police violence in the country.

According to the video footage, the man, identified as 35-year-old Nikon Brandon, was restrained facedown in gravel, with a police officer pushing the knee on his neck, reminiscent of the African-American George Floyd’s murder by a Minnesota police officer during an arrest in May 2020.

Salt Lake City police officers were initially called to report an attempted theft and disturbance, with the caller reporting that a man wearing underwear had tried to run inside the brewery and steal beer, according to 911 call audio released by the department.

The 911 caller noted that the man “definitely mental health issues going on so…if you’ve got mental health resources send them.”

Footage showed an officer arriving at the scene in Granary District, then following Brandon on the sidewalk, directly confronting him, when another officers runs toward and kicks him hardly to fall onto the ground near a curb.

Then the officers are seen trying to handcuff the man as he moans and gasps in a gravel area near the sidewalk.

“I’m about to ‘tase’ you,” says one officer, referring to a stun gun, and repeating: “Do you want to get ‘tasked’?”

More officers reached the area as Brandon’s beating continued with his face buried in the gravel as he groaned and tried to break out of their hold.

After minutes of brutal confrontation, the officers turned him onto his back, as Brandon appeared unconscious, the footage showed.

“Is he alive?” an officer is heard asking. The footage ends, as officers begin to provide medical aid.

According to a news release from the department, the mentally disabled man was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was reported to be dead less than an hour later.

An outside agency is investigating Brandon’s death, while the police department’s internal affairs unit is also conducting a separate investigation.

“We remain committed to carefully reviewing the findings of the investigation in this case,” Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement.

“As a forward-thinking department, we will use those findings to evaluate our policies, training and processes to ensure we are making our city safe,” he added.

The development comes in the wake of a similar crackdown earlier this month in the same city in Utah state, when a 40-year-old woman died in the hospital a few days after being stopped by the police.

In a statement after the incident, the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner ruled Meghan Joyce Mohan’s death a homicide, stating that “potential methamphetamine intoxication in the event of a dispute involving physical restraint” had killed the man.

The violence of US police was disposed at Floyd’s murder which led to national outrage about the deaths of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of US law enforcement, triggering nationwide and worldwide protests.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku