“That’s such a bad idea,” says the bystander, filming a cell phone video on July 18 in the parking lot of a restaurant in Southaven, Mississippi. “He’s currently face down on the stretcher.”
“You’re gonna get arrested now,” says a woman standing with him. “What’s he doing?” she adds, a moment later.
“He’s, like, getting claustrophobic,” the bystander says—then they giggle through a half-joke about how he’s probably saying “I can’t breathe.” (The video is stamped with a disclaimer that “none of the witnesses believed the individual would die” and that “no disrespect was intended by any comments.”)
The “joke” was, I guess, that he wasn’t black? That you never know when you’ll have occasion to show racial solidarity? But as it happened, the man—Troy Goode, 30, of Memphis, on his way back from a Widespread Panic show that he attended with his wife—died two hours later.
Goode, who had asthma, reportedly told police he was having trouble breathing throughout the incident.
Chief Tom Long of the Southaven Police Department said when his officers arrived on scene, they were told Goode was having an “alleged LSD overdose.”
The man who posted the video online is David McLaughlin, an attorney from Memphis, whose son Brady is the one who recorded the incident. He was having dinner, he states, when a waitress alerted them to Goode’s “erratic” interaction with police in the parking lot:
McLaughlin, who has experience in civil rights lawsuits, then went outside the restaurant where he claims he saw Goode on the ground and an officer on Goode’s back. McLaughlin momentarily went back inside the restaurant to pay the bill before walking back outside with his family.
When he returned outside, McLaughlin said paramedics had arrived on scene and Goode was “hogtied” on a stretcher.
“Paramedics arrived on scene, and I see them put him in a four-point restraint or hogtie, I don’t know how else to describe it,” McLaughlin said. “His legs were crossed, pulled back, by my vantage point, his hands were pulled back, and I think affixed to at least one of his legs,” McLaughlin said. “He looked to me like he was struggling or convulsing or both. He appeared to be in distress to me.”
Tim Edwards, the attorney for Goode’s family, is not yet accusing the police of wrongdoing, but he told WTSP, “This is a guy who was [a] chemical engineer. He’s taken into police custody and he’s dead.”
Contact the author at email@example.com.