It’s almost too unbearable to take in. Another case of police attacking and killing an unarmed black man. This time the victim is a 26-year old Army soldier who was serving active duty at Fort Bliss, in Texas. Sgt. James Brown reported to the El Paso County Jail to serve a two-day DWI sentence. He let the police department know he had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) when he checked in. Brown was a decorated soldier that had served two combat tours in Iraq.
KFOX14 anchor Erika Costello originally reported the story in 2012 and has been relentless in gaining the release of the police videos. James Brown’s mother, Dinette Robinson-Schott, said after he checked in, her son realized the El Paso Police were going to hold him seven days instead of two days, and he asked if she would pay the fine to have him released. By the time his mother arrived at the jail the next morning, it was too late.
Here is an excerpt from KFOX14:
The video shows at some point, Brown appeared to have an episode in his cell that caused him to bleed. It’s not clear from where. When he refused to answer or speak to the jail guard, a team of guards in riot gear were brought in to storm his cell.
From beginning to the end of the recording, Brown stated he could not breathe.
By the end of the clip, Brown’s physical condition appears to deteriorate, showing shallow breathing and no longer blinking or being responsive. Brown appears to no longer be capable of pleading for anything. Attorneys say at no time was an ambulance or 911 called for help.
Brown’s mother, wants the video to be made public in hopes it will create desperate changes to avoid other families losing loved ones to a brutal and unnecessary death at the hands of the police.
KFox reports that Sgt. James Brown had no criminal record, and toxicology tests showed no illegal drugs in his body. The autopsy results cited natural causes by sickle-cell crisis:
“Mr. Brown’s death was an unfortunate tragedy. The sheriff’s office has conducted a thorough review of the facts surrounding Mr. Brown’s death and, based upon all the evidence obtained, determined that his death was caused by a pre-existing medical condition. The specific evidence cannot be discussed because of pending litigation.”
It’s disgusting that the police department would try to cover up a murder in this way. Brown’s family said they have no history of the sickle-cell disease, and they believe the episode was caused by the blatant mistreatment Brown received while in custody. Anyone watching the video can see Brown’s death was not caused by ‘natural causes,’ and it only adds insult to an already grieving family.
Brown’s story is a federal civil trial that is expected to go to court in October. His family is suing for damages, claiming violation of the American with Civil Liberties Act because of Brown’s PTSD, excessive force, and lack of proper medical attention.
Here is the video. Due to the nature of the video NSFW.
There seems to be no end to videos like this. They continue to emerge almost daily on social media. The thought that this El Paso Police Department attempted to cover up such a horrific killing, causes us to wonder, how many more men and women have been killed while in custody, and no one other the police know what really happened? How many more of these senseless killings are we going to witness before it stops. Because it must stop.
Deepest sympathies go out to James Brown’s family and to all those who have suffered great losses at the hands of a police force that that many believe is out of control.
For more information about PTSD and where you can obtain help, visit: PTSD.VA.Gov.