Shocking bodycam footage records female cop telling a man struggling to breath, ‘You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid b*****d’, as Tennessee cops pinned the handcuffed man to jail floor
William Jennette, 48, suffocated to death after being pinned to the ground by police and correctional officers inside the Marshall County jail in Lewisburg, Tennessee
Dominique Jennette has filed a lawsuit against the county, the city of Lewisburg and several officers for the “beating, suffocation and resultant death” of her father, William Jennette
The newly emerged footage, shows the officers struggling with a handcuffed Jennette on May 6, 2020
He was being held in the county jail following his arrest two days earlier for resisting arrest, public intoxication and indecent exposure
As he was wrestled to the ground, Jennette could be heard shouting: ‘Help me, they’re going to kill me’
After Jennette said for the first time that he couldn’t breathe, a female officer responded: ‘You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bas***d’
Medical examiner said death resulted from asphyxiation and drugs in his system, including methamphetamine
Although Jennette’s death was ruled a homicide, a grand jury declined to press charge against the officers
Shocking footage from surveillance bodycam footage show police officers and wardens at a Tennessee jail telling a man that he ‘shouldn’t be able to breathe’ as they piled on top of him in a bid to restrain the father-of-five who had been arrested on a drunk and disorderly conduct charge two days earlier. The incident happened moments before the man the officers called ‘stupid’, suffocated to death.
William Jennette, 48, died after being pinned to the ground by police and correctional officers while he was in custody inside the Marshall County Jail in Lewisburg, Tennessee, on May 6, 2020.
Dominique Jennette has filed a lawsuit against the county, the city of Lewisburg and several officers for the “beating, suffocation and resultant death” of her, father William Jennette.
William Jennette, tells police over and over that he ‘can’t breathe’, as the piled on him
The newly emerged footage, which was obtained by WTVF, shows the officers struggling with Jennette and calling for back-up after he refused to get into a restraint chair in a Marshall County Jail.
He had been jailed two days earlier for resisting arrest, public intoxication and indecent exposure. It’s not clear if he has a prior record beyond that particular incident.
Three Marshall County jailers had called for police back-up on May 6, 2020 after a man in custody William Jennette refused to get into a restraint chair. A day earlier, officers allegedly, had put him in a restraint chair for his own protection because he was hitting his head on the cell wall. On the second day the officers tried again, and jail cameras show things escalated quickly.
The footage shows Jennette emerging from his cell and then struggling with the officers when they tried to put him in the chair. One officer could be seen shoving Jennette into a wall before other officers and police, who were in the area at the time, rushed to help.
As he was wrestled to the ground, Jennette could be heard shouting: ‘Help me, they’re going to kill me.
“They should have been more aware. They should have been trained properly and they weren’t,” the victim’s daughter, Dominique Jennette, said.
Dominique Jennette, has since filed a lawsuit against the Lewisburg Police Department over his death and what happened in the aftermath. Meanwhile the Lewisburg Police Department has not commented on the lawsuit or emergence of the video.
Much of her lawsuit focuses on what happened after officers wrestled her father to the ground.
Multiple police and correctional officers held him down as Jennette screamed for the officers to m to get off his back. He was face down on the floor in handcuffs continuing to struggle.
‘Stay down you stupid son of a b***h,’ one officer said.
‘Go get leg restraints before you do anything else, go get leg restraints,’ another officer could be heard saying.
After Jennette said for the first time that he couldn’t breathe, a female officer responded: ‘You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid b*****d.’
The officers continued to hold Jennette down and could be seen bending his legs towards his back.
One officer then said they should be careful not to suffocate him.
‘Easy, easy. Remember asphyxiation, guys,’ the officer said.
Another responded: ‘That’s why I’m not on his lungs, to let him breathe.’
The last thing Jennette said before his death was ‘I’m good’.
An officer responded, saying: ‘No, you ain’t good. You’re going to lay right there for a f***ing minute.’
A medical examiner ruled that he died as a result of asphyxiation and the drugs that were in his system, including methamphetamine.
His death was ruled a homicide but a grand jury declined to charge any of the officers involved.
Multiple police and correctional officers held him down as Jennette screamed for them to get off him. ‘Stay down you stupid son of a b***h,’ one officer said.
In the lead up to the ordeal, jail logs show that Jennette had been ‘hallucinating’ and ‘detoxing’ following his arrest two days prior.
He had been taken into custody for resisting arrest, public intoxication and indecent exposure.
Jennette had been put in a restraint chair the day before he died because he had been hitting his head against his cell wall, the jail logs show.
The lawsuit alleges that officers did not realize he wasn’t breathing for more than a minute.
Instead of checking on Jennette, an officer asked a colleague if she was okay, according to the lawsuit.
That officer then allegedly mocked Jennette, saying: ‘I can’t breathe’.
His daughter claims that the footage, combined with the medical examiner’s ruling, shows her father was unjustly killed.
‘They should have been more aware. They should have been trained properly and they weren’t,’ Dominique said.
She said the footage was heartbreaking and showed how terrified her father was.
‘That’s just something that really sticks with me, how scared he must have been and how alone he must have felt,’ Jennette said.
‘That just breaks my heart because he was someone worth knowing.’
“It just feels like my heart is constantly being ripped out of my chest, and there’s no peace to that,” Dominique Jennette said.