“Please!” Neville shouts.
“You need to relax so I can get the cuffs off,” one officer says.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Neville continues.Over the next 67 seconds of the bodycam footage, Neville yells “I can’t breathe,” ten more times while also crying for help.
Eventually, officers arrive with bolt cutters, which the autopsy report says officers used after the handcuff key broke inside the lock. The handcuffs were cut off using the bolt cutters.
By the end of the video, officers leave the cell, causing Neville to be left on the ground. A nurse said she couldn’t see him breathing, according to the autopsy report.The footage follows below and it is graphic. Watch at your own discretion.
Neville was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he died two days later. The autopsy listed brain injury after he was restrained as his cause of death. A nurse and five detention officers were charged last month with involuntary manslaughter.
According to Associated Press, more than 70 people joined a vigil for Neville in Winston-Salem on Wednesday night. Neville’s son, Tremaine Stubbs, spoke to the crowd, saying, “My daddy is gone for no reason.”
An activist in the city, Terrance Hawkins, also said, “White supremacy continues to have its way in this city, in this state, in this country and in this world. We want justice, and we want it now.”
Hawkins said he was concerned that it took the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office months to bring charges in Neville’s death and to make the jail footage public. A Black Lives Matter chapter in the city demanded for months that the video be released, however, Neville’s family opposed this move until last week. The BLM chapter eventually apologized last week in a Facebook post “for not following the initial wishes of John Neville’s family” and for “any hurt” they may have caused.