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Arkansas police release bodycam footage of fatal supermarket arrest as cops are cleared

Bodycam footage shows man, repeatedly telling Arkansas cops ‘I can’t breathe’ as they violently pin him to floor and tase him multiple times at a supermarket before he died in police custody

  • Lionel Morris died after after he was arrested in Conway, Arkansas on February 4 
  • The 39-year-old ran away from cops after he was suspected of shoplifting a drone at a Harps Food Store 
  • He was chased around the supermarket before officers cornered and tased him
  • Police bodycam footage was released on Wednesday showing cops wrestling with Morris and pinning him down as they try to place him in handcuffs 
  • He is heard repeatedly telling cops he can’t breathe and at one point calls for an ambulance 
  • The officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing by the Arkansas State Police and local prosecutors on Wednesday 

Newly-released body camera footage shows the moment a group of Arkansas police officers violently pinned a man to the floor and tased and punched him, moments before he died in police custody. 

Lionel Morris, 39, died on February 4, shortly after he was arrested for shoplifting at a Harps Food Store in Conway.

Police had been called to the supermarket after employees said they saw Morris and another suspect remove a drone from its packaging.

When officers arrived at the scene to confront them, Morris took off running and a police chase ensued around the store. 

 

Arkansas State Police released bodycam footage of Lionel Morris’s fatal arrest in February 

Morris, 39, died on February 4 shortly after he was arrested for shoplifting at a Harps Food Store in Conway

Morris, 39, died on February 4 shortly after he was arrested for shoplifting at a Harps Food Store in Conway

Officers were seen forcefully holding Morris's head and torso down as they order him to put his hands behind his back

Officers were seen forcefully holding Morris’s head and torso down as they order him to put his hands behind his back

Officers quickly caught up to Morris near the produce section where they tackled him and tased him before placing him in handcuffs.  

Footage of the altercation, released by Arkansas State Police on Wednesday, shows police had struggled with Morris for more than six minutes.   

At least four officers were seen forcefully holding Morris’s head and torso down as they ordered him to put his hands behind his back.  

He is heard crying out in pain and repeatedly telling cops that he can’t breathe as they press him against the floor before he eventually loses consciousness.

‘Oh my God, oh my God! Please help me, please,’ Morris, who is bleeding from his face, screams. 

‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!’ he says, to which an officer responds: ‘If you can talk, you can breathe. Chill out.’   

The disturbing footage shows Morris was punched and tased during his altercation with a group of three to four police officers

The disturbing footage shows Morris was punched and tased during his altercation with a group of three to four police officers

Towards the end of the six and half minute encounter, Morris is seen losing consciousness as he lies on the floor bleeding from his face

Towards the end of the six and half minute encounter, Morris is seen losing consciousness as he lies on the floor bleeding from his face

He was pronounced dead on his way to the hospital

He was pronounced dead on his way to the hospital

Video of the incident was released on the same day state authorities cleared the Conway officers involved of criminal wrongdoing.   

According to a police report obtained by KATV, one officer admitted to punching Morris two to four times ‘in an attempt to gain compliance.’ 

‘After a thorough review, the prosecutor determined there was no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing by the Conway Police Department or the Conway police officers involved in this unfortunate incident,’ Chief William Tapley said in a recorded statement on Wednesday. 

‘The level of drugs Mr Morris had in his system and the strain he exerted while struggling with police ultimately contributed to his death,’ he added. 

A medical examiner determined Morris died of methamphetamine intoxication with exertion, struggle, restraint and conducted electrical weapon deployment, according to local news station KATV.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk