A man drowned in Arizona in front of three police officers. The officers apparently did not help the man and only instructed him to get out of the water.
In the city of Tempe, Arizona, a man drowned in a lake before the eyes of apparently idle police officers. Instead of rescuing him, officers downplayed his cries for help. This can be seen in the officers’ bodycam footage released by several US media outlets.
Arizona: Police officers apparently stand by and watch as a man drowns
The incident happened on May 28 of this year. The police officers were called to Tempe Town Lake at night because of a disturbance of the peace. After their arrival, they first asked the victim’s 34-year-old partner about the alleged noise. Then her 30-year-old friend should also undergo a survey.
As can be seen on the camera recordings, however, he refused. It’s 5:12 a.m. when he climbs over the parapet and into the lake. The police officers then pointed out to him succinctly that swimming in the lake was forbidden. At this point the video ends. It has been sealed by the authorities because it is too “sensitive”. Instead, the police released the transcript of the operation, including the man’s agony.
As the British “Guardian” reports, among others, a police officer asks his colleague how far the man would make it. A short time later, the 30-year-old began screaming for help. Accordingly, he should repeatedly “I’m drowning!” have called. The police reportedly replied “no, you don’t” and advised him to swim to a bridge pier. As the man continues to yell for help and shouts that he can’t make it to the bridge, according to the transcript, a police officer clarifies, “I’m not going to jump after you.”
When his partner realizes the situation the 30-year-old is in, she becomes restless and begs the officers to help him. One of the officers then threatens to lock her in the patrol car if she doesn’t calm down. A boat is already on the way. When she shouted again that officers would not help her partner, a police officer threatened to take her into custody, according to the transcript of the bodycam footage.
Authorities call incident a ‘tragedy’
A short time later, another police officer found that the man had not been seen above the water surface for more than 30 seconds. At 11:30 a.m., about six hours after the police officers were called to the scene, the 30-year-old’s body was pulled out of the lake. His death was determined on the spot.
Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching and City Police Commissioner Jeff Glover called the man’s drowning a “tragedy,” they said last Friday. All three police officers involved in the operation were released. An internal investigation has been started.
Sources: The Guardian, NBC News, Fox 10 Phoenix, Washington Post,Statement Tempe, With footage from AFP