A judge released body camera footage Wednesday from a North Carolina jail showing the morning inmate John Neville suffered a medical emergency and was restrained by officers.
Neville died as a result of his injuries and five correction officers, along with a nurse, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in their handling of the situation that led to his death.
Authorities said the incident unfolded during the early hours of Dec. 2, 2019, when a medical emergency caused Neville to fall off his top bunk.
Neville died two days later from his injuries at the hospital.
A medical examiner ruled Neville died from a brain injury due to cardiac arrest, due to asphyxia during a prone restraint — which is being restrained in the facedown position.
The released videos show multiple detention officers detained Neville before a nurse was called to give aid.
In the video, John Neville can be heard calling for his mother and yelling “I Can’t breathe!” more than 20 times as officers restrain him.
Attorney Michael Grace, who is representing the Neville family, said he will be pursuing action against the county and Wellpath, the company contracted by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to provide medical care to incarcerated individuals, as well as the district attorney as the criminal cases progress forward.
“The sheriff has acknowledged that mistakes were made, and that means a lot to the family. It won’t bring John Neville back,” Grace said.
On Tuesday, Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough apologized to Neville’s family during a news conference for the man’s death, saying he too cried after seeing the video. He said Neville’s death has led to changes in training involving medical care providers, and that he would name a portion of the jail for Neville.
On Wednesday night, more than 70 participants used their phones as flashlights and sang songs during the vigil for Neville in Winston-Salem, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Neville’s son, Tremaine Stubbs, spoke to the crowd about parts of the footage released on Wednesday that showed Neville, calling for this mother. “There is no reason that a grown man should be calling for his mama when she is no longer with us,” Stubbs said. “I can’t breathe man,” he added. “My daddy is gone for no reason.”
Videos released Wednesday show John Neville yell “I can’t breathe!” over 20 times while restrained in a North Carolina jail after a December 2019 arrest. He died 3 days later. Five former jail officers and a nurse were charged with involuntary manslaughter https://t.co/nScSUzBQxa pic.twitter.com/jeoyC6RRTe— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 6, 2020