NAACP Erupts After Black Man Dies In Police Custody

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

( – The NAACP has urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into the death of a 53-year-old Black man, Frank Tyson, who stated he couldn’t breathe while being arrested by police officers. This incident occurred on April 18 at a bar within the American Veterans (AMVETS) post in Canton, Ohio.

Derrick Johnson, NAACP’s president and CEO, expressed his concern in a letter to Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department. He highlighted the dire need for federal intervention to ensure the officers involved are held accountable, according to NBC News which first reported the letter.

Surveillance video from the scene shows an officer applying his knee to Tyson’s upper body while handcuffed. Tyson is heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” a plea which seemed to be ignored by the officers. Later, Tyson became unresponsive after being sat up; despite first responders administering CPR and multiple doses of Narcan, he was declared deceased at the hospital at 9:18 p.m.

The tragic event is starkly similar to the 2020 death of George Floyd, who also uttered “I can’t breathe” under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, leading to his death after more than nine minutes.

Johnson remarked on the social platform X that Tyson’s death, coming nearly four years after Floyd’s, painfully reminds us that unjust police practices continue. He stated that Tyson should still be alive.

The Canton Police Department has placed officers Beau Schoenegge and Camden Burch, who were the main officers involved and are from the traffic bureau, on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.

Bobby DiCello, a lawyer for Tyson’s family, criticized the Canton Police for their lack of humanity towards Tyson. He conveyed his outrage over the continuation of such forceful tactics in policing to NBC News, especially highlighting the callous remarks purportedly made to Tyson during his final moments. This incident raises severe concerns about the need for profound changes in law enforcement conduct.

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