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The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Police Department has released video and audio footage the shows exactly what happened the night a black man died in police custody after complaining of having difficulty breathing, following the administration of pepper spray. Anthony Ware, 35, was sprayed with pepper spray and handcuffed during an arrest. Moments later, the man complained of difficulty breathing, but police officers thought he was faking. Ware would later die after going into cardiac arrest.
The video shows Anthony Ware running from police into some nearby woods as the patrol car approaches. Police chase the man and utilize pepper spray to subdue the fleeing suspect. Ware begins to complain of difficulty breathing, and collapses to the ground. Police handcuff the man and seem to indicate that they believe he is faking his ailment. An officer on the video can be heard saying Ware is breathing, but that he simply doesn’t want to cooperate with officers.
“Yea he’s breathing, he just don’t want to cooperate.”
Following the release of the video, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson admitted in a press conference that officers initially thought Ware was faking his condition, as many suspects will fake injuries or exaggerate their condition.
“Many times when we deal with individuals that we take into custody, especially if we’ve had to chase them or use any amount of force against them, whether it be OC spray or physical force to overcome their resistance, many times the suspects will pretend that they’re injured and need medical attention. They prefer to go to the hospital rather than the county jail.”
What do you think about the video of the pepper spray death? Should officers have taken Ware more seriously when he claimed he couldn’t breathe, or did they do the best they could in the situation considering Chief Anderson’s statement that many suspects fake medical emergencies?
[Image Credit: Tuscaloosa Police Department via Daily Mail]