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22 Jul, 2015 08:50

Mississippi police ‘hogtie’ asthmatic man who dies later in hospital

Mississippi police ‘hogtie’ asthmatic man who dies later in hospital

Troy Goode’s family said police hogtied him face down on a stretcher and wouldn’t let his wife accompany him to hospital, where he died hours later. Authorities said the man was on LSD at the time of arrest and probably died from a heart condition.

The 30-year-old chemical engineer from Memphis, Tennessee died two hours after his detention by Southaven police, who were called to respond to a disturbance near a shopping complex. A video shot by a bystander showed Goode being wheeled on a stretcher to an ambulance. He was lying face down with his hands and legs tied behind his back. Leg irons and handcuffs were used.

"His face was buried in the mattress of the stretcher," Tim Edwards, the lawyer representing the Goode family, told NBC News on Monday. "There was a strap over the back of his head so he couldn't move his head. His hands and feet were hogtied so he couldn't move those, either."

Eyewitnesses are heard commenting on how Goode’s run-in with the police should be filmed “just in case he dies” and that “it was time for him saying ‘I can’t breath’” – a reference to the widely publicized death of Eric Garner when he was subjected to a police chokehold. A note added to the footage states that the witnesses did not think Goode would die and had meant no disrespect.

READ MORE: NYC settles Eric Garner chokehold case for $5.9 million

Police said they were told Goode was intoxicated after he and four of his friends took LSD before attending a rock concert in Southaven. His wife Kelli was taking him home when he got out of the car and started running around.

The officers “attempted to detain the subject who began to resist and run from them again. He was eventually restrained by officers and transferred to an awaiting ambulance to be transported to the hospital.”

Kelli Goode had asked the police if she could accompany her husband to Baptist Hospital, but she was told she would be arrested for obstruction of justice, attorney Kevin McCormack, who also represents the family, told the Guardian. He added that family members later called the hospital and were told again they would be arrested if they visited.

District Attorney John Champion said on Tuesday that preliminary results of Goode’s autopsy suggested he died from a heart-related issue. He also said police were within their right to use restraining technique, which he refused to call hogtieing.
“I’m not using that term. Okay, I refuse to use that term, because that’s not what this is,” Champion said as cited by the local WREG TV station.