%tophl(California parolee who died in custody told cops he was ill
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Police video released Wednesday shows that a parolee who died in a Sacramento police wagon warned officers that he felt like he was having a heart attack before he died.
The 30-year-old man in the video is grunting and breathing heavily as officers and parole agents lift him to his feet at a detoxification center, hands cuffed behind his back on June 6.
“I feel like I’m having a heart attack. Oh God,” the man says.
The man can still be heard yelling, moaning and grunting in the back of the van as the driver departs.
“He’s laying down now with his feet on the bench,” the driver tells a passenger as he monitors the man through a video camera. But the driver found the man unresponsive when he arrived at the jail.
The video shows the driver and a parole agent administering CPR, but the man died at a hospital later.
Police say an autopsy showed no trauma that would have led to the man’s death, and none is shown on the videos. They say his cause of death is awaiting further toxicology results.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento identified the man as Brandon Smith.
A statement released by the family calls his death “a looming mystery” and describes him as the oldest of four brothers and the father of children ages 10, 7 and 5.
“I believe they’re covering up something, and I’m very angry,” Smith’s mother, Yolanda Ford, said at a news conference Wednesday, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Police said that “a thorough, fact-based investigation” is continuing.