A Black man in Virginia died in police custody after he was repeatedly tased while shackled and denied medical care by the three, white, arresting officers. The graphic turn of events was all captured on police surveillance video, obtained Wednesday by MSNBC after the victim’s family filed a civil lawsuit. and seen publicly for the first time.
On May 4, 2013, police were called to investigate noise complaints at a Super 8 motel in South Boston, a small town in Southern, Va. Three officers arrived at the door of Linwood “Ray” Lambert just before 5 a.m. They say he was acting paranoid, hallucinating and telling them there were bodies buried in the ceiling.
Lambert was placed in one of the squad cars. The officers told him he was not under arrest and that they were taking him to the emergency room because he was speaking incoherently.
The three officers, Cpl. Tiffany Bratton, Officer Clifton Mann and Officer Travis Clay, departed the hotel in three police cars. Video from one shows an officer calling the hospital, asking for the mental health care worker on duty.
The officers did pull up to the hospital, but Lambert kicked out the squad car window and tried to run into the emergency room alone, only to discover the sliding glass doors were locked. The officers ran after him and began tasing him outside of the ER door. In response, Lambert’s body goes stiff and, with his hands cuffed, his arms could not break the fall when he hit the cement. The officers surrounded him on the ground and shackled his legs.
Nurses and hospital staff watched from inside. According to hospital records obtained by MSNBC, nurses on the scene said they saw “three officers” tasing Lambert “at one time.”
After pleading with the officers not to kill him, he told them that he was on cocaine.
Instead of taking him inside as originally planned, the officers put him under arrest and walked him back to the squad car, where they tased him again for not sitting up straight.
Linwood Lambert, hands and legs shackled, is tased in the back of a police car
When the tasing inside the car ended, one of the officers drove Lambert to jail.
“He’s bleeding like a hog,” one of the other two officers was heard saying to a nurse at the hospital, “we thought he was crazy, and then he finally told us he was on cocaine.”
As the officers make the short drive to jail, the squad car video shows Lambert unconscious.
Surveillance video shows Linwood Lambert unconscious in the back of a squad car
The officers notice his state when arriving at the jail, where they checked Lambert’s pulse, attempted CPR and called for help.
Then an ambulance came and took Lambert back to Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital – the same ER the officers had originally brought Lambert to for treatment.
Hospital records show Lambert was flatlined on arrival at 6:06 a.m. – just over an hour after his trip with police began. He was pronounced dead at 6:23 a.m.
Watch MSNBC’s report below: