ProPublica has published previously unreleased video of 56-year-old grandfather Vachel Howard dying in LAPD custody.
The video is graphic, and, at one point, shows a Los Angeles police officer laughing as officers stand around the motionless body of Howard, a grandfather of seven who was stopped for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, said ProPublica.
In 2015, Los Angeles settled a wrongful death claim filed by Howard’s family for $2.85 million, CNN says. The unarmed man died after being placed in a chokehold, said CNN. A federal court order had barred the video’s release, said CNN.
ProPublica says the coroner deemed Howard’s 2012 death the result of “cocaine intoxication, heart disease, and a chokehold employed by one of the officers.”
Juan Romero, the officer who administrated the chokehold on Howard, was suspended for 22 days and police defended his actions, saying Howard tried to bite him, ProPublica said.
ProPublica says police initially would not release the video. The Root says Howard died in the custody at the LAPD 77th Street Station jail. The video shows officers not beginning resuscitation for four minutes, The Root says.