North Carolina Man Says ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Before Jail Death: Video

John Neville

John Neville/Facebook Bodycam footage from a North Carolina jail that showed a man saying "I can't breathe" before his death was released on Wednesday.

Portions of two videos of body cameras worn by officers in a North Carolina jail showed a man saying “I can’t breathe” before his December 2019 death was released on Wednesday. Nearly a dozen media outlets had requested the video to be released, including Raleigh outlet The News & Observer, the New York Times, and The Daily Beast.

John Neville, a 56-year-old Black man, had suffered a medical emergency while at the Forsyth County jail. He said he couldn’t’ breathe 24 times, The News & Observer reported. At one point, an officer said Neville could breathe because he was talking.

Warning: The video contains content that may be disturbing to viewers.

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Neville died days later in the hospital after the injuries sustained during the incident, leading to the five correction officers and one nurse involved to be fired. Ahead of the video being released on Wednesday, all six were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Neville was in jail for a pending assault charge when he fell onto the concrete floor from the top bunk.“You’re OK, you’re OK. It looks like you had a seizure,” one of the male detention officers says in the beginning of the video.

Officers Had To Remove Neville’s Handcuffs With A Bolt Cutter

When another officer claims Neville is trying to bite, they place a white, clear mask over his head. He’s then handcuffed, strapped to a chair and taken to another cell.

The second video shows officers struggling to get the handcuffs off as Neville tells them that he cannot breathe. They ultimately remove the handcuffs with a bolt cutter and leave the room.

The nurse then says she’s can’t tell if Neville is breathing and enters the room where Neville is groaning. She says she can’t hear his heart rate and starts doing chest compressions, with the video ending soon after.

The autopsy found Neville died from a brain injury that was caused by the way he was restrained. Underlying medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease were also discovered.

Neville sustained “injuries that would eventually cause him to lose his life,” Forsyth County district attorney Jim O’Neill said last month, as noted by The Times.

The Forsyth County Sheriff Issues An Apology Before The Video’s Release

RAW: Judge releases John Neville videos*WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO* A judge released two videos from the Forsyth County Jail showing the moments leading up to John Neville’s death. Neville was being held on a pending charge of assault on a female. The district attorney said around 3:24 a.m. on Dec. 2, Neville "suffered an unknown medical condition" while asleep. He fell…2020-08-06T03:14:57Z

A day before the footage was released, Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough issued an apology. “History has tied us together, forever… I apologize again for what happened on that day,” Kimbrough said at a news conference Tuesday, as cited by ABC News. “We’re sorry for the mistakes made that day. I take responsibility for that as the sheriff.”

“This video is tragic,” the sheriff said, as noted by the Times. “I won’t sugarcoat that.”

Neville’s family is suing the county of Forsyth and Wellpath. “The sheriff has acknowledged mistakes were made and that means a lot to the family. It won’t bring John Neville back … but it goes a way toward causing this terrible scar to heal over again,” Neville family attorney Michael Grace said, according to ABC News. He wants the family to be “justly compensated.”

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