An Expert in Police Response to a Guy Who Died While in the Custody of Canton Police!

An Expert in Police Response to a Guy Who Died While in the Custody of Canton Police!

A newly released Canton police body camera footage shows significant similarities to the May 2020 Minneapolis police officer murder of George Floyd.

The footage shows Canton police trying to arrest 53-year-old Frank Tyson following his April 18 vehicle wreck. The footage shows one cop kneeling over Tyson’s body and saying, “I can’t breathe,” before going unresponsive.

“Deep disappointment… but not surprised,” said Dr. Yohuru Williams, history professor and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, who has extensively examined systematic racism in Minnesota enforcement.

“I think unfortunately, despite the conversation [after] the killing of George Floyd, especially with regards to African Americans and the African American community, very little has changed,” he remarked. “There’s been a lot of dialogue about efforts toward reform, but unfortunately it’s something we’ve seen before, this impetus to try to create meaningful pathways to reform, but then videos like this prove that these practices continue and continue to cost lives.”

Williams said the bodycam footage may evoke strong emotions, especially in minority groups.

Wounds create narratives, and we’ve seen this many times in communities of color. A repeatingly poor film, “Dr. Williams stated. “The bodycam film doesn’t show anything about the incident that would justify the aggression they employed to control him. We see the knee again, 30 seconds applied to Frank Tyson’s body, we hear him say ‘I can’t breathe,’ we hear him ask the officer to remove his knee, and then we watch him lie there motionless with the officers and bar patrons doing nothing to help this clearly unconscious man. It’s unsettling.”

Authorities have not disclosed Tyson’s autopsy report or decided whether to prosecute the policemen.

“There will be those who will say, we have to wait until all the evidence is out,” he remarked. “There’ll predictably be calls to look into Frank Tyson’s background, his past criminal behavior, but I would argue, and I think it’ll be true, most people will look at this, particularly in communities of color, particularly in the Black community, from the lens of, this is the wound again, here we go again.”

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