Tennessee cops ignored a drowning man’s repeated cries of “Assist me!” — calling him a “dumb ass” slightly than making an attempt to save lots of him, in keeping with disturbing police bodycam video.
Johnny “JJ” Baldwin, 24, fell into Tims Ford Boiling Fork Creek in Winchester as he fled on foot after officers tried to tug him over for a minor site visitors violation early final Thursday, authorities advised WKRN.
Officers have been heard teasing Baldwin as he referred to as out for assist 3 times whereas clearly struggling earlier than he drowned, the station mentioned when it aired the footage.
“Nicely then, swim,” one officer may be heard replying after considered one of his pleas, saying, “Your dumb ass jumped within the river.”
When one of many 4 officers there volunteered to observe him into the water, one other — confirmed by police as a sergeant — stopped him, the report mentioned.
“No, don’t go in there with him, he’s going to tug you down,” the sergeant mentioned.
The sergeant even appeared unconcerned when a colleague warned that Baldwin had “gone beneath.”
“He’s doing it on objective,” the sergeant claimed.
Winchester Police Chief Richard Lewis referred to as it an “extraordinarily unhappy scenario,” telling ABC Information his division has “caught absolute hell” after releasing the bodycam footage.
He insisted the officers “made the precise determination” given it was darkish, they didn’t understand how deep the water was and they weren’t educated in water rescues. The rescue squad and dive crew have been en route earlier than Baldwin drowned, the police incident report mentioned.
“If my officer bought in there and bought tied up with him [and got pulled under], it’s only a unhealthy scenario,” Lewis advised ABC Information.
Baldwin’s household is looking for the officers to be fired and charged, the stations mentioned.
“He was an harmless 24-year-old man, drowned begging for assist 3 times and the police sat there and laughed and made jokes about it,” shut household buddy Brian Kirk advised WKRN.
Two Decherd cops have been concerned together with two from Winchester, the reviews mentioned. Decherd’s police chief didn’t instantly reply to the stations’ requests for remark.