"I'm not jumping in after you": Video shows Arizona cops refuse to save drowning Black man

"I'm drowning," Sean Bickings pleaded as police threatened to detain his wife

Published June 6, 2022 11:45AM (EDT)

Police cars at night (Getty Images)
Police cars at night (Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Raw Story


The videos and transcripts have been released showing the last few moments of Sean Bickings' life as he struggled to stay afloat.

Fox29 explained that the police were called to handle a domestic violence situation, but both Bickings and his wife said that they didn't make a call and nothing violent was happening.

Bickings tried to run away and jump into the lake nearby. It was then, unable to get out of the water, he drowned. Local firefighters pulled him out after he was dead.

Police said that Bickings was identified as an "unsheltered Tempe community member." Both Bickings told police that there were no problems and neither was going to be detained.

The officer then said he was running their names through a database to see if they had any warrants. That's when Bickings took off.

"That check had not yet been completed when Bickings decided to slowly climb over a 4-foot metal fence and enter the water. Officers informed him swimming is not allowed in the lake," a statement from the department reads. "He swam about 30-40 yards before repeatedly indicating he was in distress. He soon went under and did not resurface."

The transcript cites cops shouting back and forth.

"I'm drowning," Bickings said.

"Come back over to the pylon," replied an officer, noted as "Officer 2."

"I can't. I can't (inaudible)," said Bickings.

"OK, I'm not jumping in after you," said Officer 1.

Bickings' wife started to panic. An officer told her, "If you don't calm down, I'm going to put you in my car."

She continued to beg the police to help him. "I'm just distraught because he's drowning right in front of us and you won't help," she said.

The police then claimed that another officer was getting a boat.

"The three Tempe police officers who responded to the call and witnessed the drowning have been placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave pending the investigations, as is customary in critical incidents," the statement also said.

See the video below:

By Sarah Burris

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