The Phoenix Police Department released body camera footage showing the arrest of Ramon Lopez, 28, who died in hospital shortly after being restrained on hot asphalt.
Phoenix police have launched an internal investigation and released body camera footage showing the arrest of 28-year-old Ramon Lopez, who died in hospital shortly afterward.
Three officers restrained Lopez on the surface of a hot roadway in 100-degree weather.
The Arizona Republic obtained photos of Lopez that revealed “his back streaked purple and white with what look like burns in the texture of his shirt.”
Authorities have not yet released the official cause of death from the medical examiner.
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The Phoenix Police Department released body camera footage showing the arrest of a 28-year-old man who died after being restrained for several minutes on the surface of a blazing hot roadway.
Ramon Lopez was pronounced dead on the morning of August 4, shortly after he scuffled with three Phoenix officers during an arrest.
The police department said in a statement that the officers were initially called to the scene by a woman who called 911 to report “a suspicious man making obscene gestures and looking into cars” and “holding his private parts.”
Police said when the officers approached the man, Lopez, he fled.
He entered a convenience store and stole a drink, then threw the drink on the officer chasing him, according to police. Surveillance and body camera footage showed the officer approaching the convenience store door, before Lopez could be seen bolting out and being chased by the officer. Eventually, the officer caught up with Lopez and they both fell to the ground on the asphalt.
Three officers then sought to restrain Lopez, who struggled, and they eventually handcuffed him and used a leg restraint. The body cam videos show Lopez shouting in apparent pain while the officers tried to get his hands behind his back.
As NBC News and other news outlets reported, the temperature in Phoenix that morning was roughly 100 degrees, and asphalt in that temperature can grow even hotter.
The Arizona Republic obtained photos of Lopez that revealed “his back streaked purple and white with what look like burns in the texture of his shirt.” The burns are not visible from the body cam footage.
When officers checked on Lopez, they saw he was ‘unresponsive’
After Lopez was placed on his stomach on the asphalt, with his wrists and ankles restrained, he could be heard groaning.
The police statement said once Lopez was restrained, they put him in a patrol vehicle to get him out of the roadway, then drove to a parking lot roughly one minute away while waiting for medics.
“Upon arriving, officers immediately checked on Lopez and saw he was unresponsive,” the statement said. “They took him out of the police vehicle, trying to wake him and provide him water. Fire personnel arrived and took over medical treatment.”
Lopez was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. The medical examiner has not yet released Lopez’s cause of death.
The police department said it has launched an internal investigation into the officers’ actions, but added that “conclusions about whether the actions of the officers are consistent with department policy and the law will not be made until all facts are known and the investigation is complete.”
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