Five officers indicted for 2019 death of person following new music pageant in Hampton

A grand jury has indicted five law enforcement officers in the death of a 24-yr-aged person located bare going for walks down a Ga road from a audio pageant in Sept. 2019.

Robert Butera and Quinton Phillips, officers with the Henry County Police Division, and Mason Lewis, Marcus Stroud, and Gregory Bowlden, officers with the Hampton Police Office, have been all billed with just one rely of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, a person rely of aggravated assault, and 1 count of violation of oath of business.

Fernando Octavio Rodriguez, 24, died from asphyxiation from staying held to the ground although getting handcuffed and shackled by officers, in accordance to the Henry County District Attorney’s Office.

In accordance to a lawsuit filed by the man’s parents earlier this 12 months, Rodriguez was walking household immediately after attending the Picture Competition, an digital tunes function held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton shortly right after 10 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2019. Police experienced gained a 911 simply call of an unclothed gentleman.

A law enforcement physique digital camera video presented by Rodriguez’s parents’ legal professionals exhibits Rodriguez strolling down the center of a avenue bare as an officer shouts at him to get on the ground at minimum 10 periods, The Linked Press noted. Rodriguez turns all over 2 times but keeps walking. He yells something at the officers, but it is bleeped out on the video clip furnished by the legal professionals.

The officer then yells, “I’m gonna tase you,” and fires his stun gun, triggering Rodriguez to drop to the floor.

Around the up coming 10 minutes officers surprised him at least 15 periods and “pinned Fernando to the ground by kneeling and standing on Fernando’s again, neck, head, arms, and legs, thereby depriving Fernando of oxygen,” the lawsuit states.

Soon after that, the officers are heard regularly telling him to roll above on to his belly so they can assistance him and also threatening to stun him once again. Just one attempts to convert him above and phone calls him a “sweaty minor hog.” Rodriguez is heard yelling any time he’s stunned and is observed making an attempt to sit up and scooting away from the officers when lying on his again.

About 6 minutes following Rodriguez was very first shot with a stun gun, the officers roll him around and handcuff him. They then pin him down with their ft and knees on distinct pieces of his human body and force his face into the street.

About 15 minutes after Rodriguez was 1st surprised, one particular of the officers states his pulse charge is “via the roof” and one more officer asks Rodriguez if he’s nevertheless breathing.

An officer suggests two times, “He’s stop respiratory.” One more claims, “Are you really serious?”

Even right after they were conscious that he was not respiratory, they did not halt to render help as they must have, explained Jess Johnson, a lawyer for Rodriguez’s mothers and fathers.

Throughout the face, the officers are read speculating that Rodriguez is on medicines. Johnson mentioned he has not witnessed a toxicology report but he thinks Rodriguez was less than the influence of something and wanted health-related consideration.

Rodriguez was unresponsive when paramedics arrived and he died at a healthcare facility just about 48 hours later on. A health-related examiner ruled his demise a homicide brought about by “asphyxia owing to bodily restraint in vulnerable posture with compression of chest” and explained his injuries transpired during “physical altercation with regulation enforcement,” the lawsuit states.

Right after the paramedics get there, a person asks, “Has he obtained a very good chest increase?” A person of the officers responds, “I have no strategy, gentleman. We got him to this position and we just did not touch him no much more.”

Paramedics later on noted Rodriguez was “unresponsive, not respiratory and pulseless” when they arrived, the lawsuit claims. They put him on a stretcher and ended up able to revive him. But he died early on Sept. 23, 2019, at Grady Memorial Clinic, in which medical professionals stated he was struggling from respiratory failure, renal failure, anoxic mind personal injury, cardiac arrest and acute blood decline anemia, the lawsuit says.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was termed in to get around the situation and a spokeswoman reported the investigative file was submitted to the Henry County District Attorney in January 2020. 

No term on the officers’ work status or if they have surrendered on people charges.

The civil lawsuit is even now pending.

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The Connected Pres contributed to this article