As several Arkansas police officers pinned Lionel Morris on the floor of Harps Food Store in February, with the knee of one officer pressing into his back, the 39-year-old begged for help, repeatedly crying out, “I can’t breathe.”
The Conway Police Department said that on Feb. 4, the supermarket reported that two men had removed a drone from its packaging. When officers arrived on the scene, Morris ran away, prompting a chase around the food store—until he was tased multiple times and punched at least twice.
But newly released body-camera footage shows the officers continued to use excessive force on Morris, even after he clearly said he was in duress, yelling about his heart and stating he couldn’t breathe during an encounter that lasted more than six minutes.
“If you can talk, you can breathe. Chill out,” one Conway police officer responded. “We got an ambulance.” Minutes later, Morris was “pulseless and unresponsive.” He was pronounced dead while being transported to a local hospital.