[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Three Arizona police officers have been placed on administrative leave after being seen standing next to a man and drowning in a water body in the city of Tempe.
Annoying bodycam footage has been released of the 34-year-old Shawn Beacons Conversations with police at the moment of his drowning after an “alleged fight” with a woman claiming to be his wife.
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The incident happened on May 28, early in the morning, when Tempe police responded to an alleged fight between Beckings and his alleged wife, who was identified only as Susan. Now, bodycam footage of the incident has been leaked to the public – and people have taken up arms for Beckings’ death, with many convinced that his drowning was highly preventable.
In the footage, three officers approached the woman, who admitted to having some “problems” with her husband but added that he was not violent towards her. Officers take the Beacons some distance to calm down, but the distraught man suddenly jumps over one of the four-foot railings in the Temp Town Lake Reservoir.
An officer leans over the railing and asks police if Beckings is walking down the water line:
“You can’t swim in the lake, man. You are not allowed to swim in the lake. “
Bickings however wades and starts swimming, it is probably made in 100 feet of water. It seems obvious they know it’s dangerous because one officer is telling another on camera:
“How far do you think he’ll be able to swim?”
Another officer advised the first to keep an eye on the Beacons and called for a rescue boat.
A bike-mounted policeman, who at the moment, crossed a bridge to the scene, warned the remaining officers present that turbines at the other end of the reservoir could be fatal:
“I’m sure there’s a turbine at the base of the dam that can suck it underwater.”
At that point, the published version of the bodycam footage was cut; The media was told that this was “due to the sensitive nature of the remainder of the recording.” They noted that the Beacons had sunk “minutes later.”
Although they have not released a video of the moment of his sinking Tempe Police Department Shared a copy of the interaction just before the man died. According to the transcript, an officer yells at Beckings:
“So what’s your plan now?”
“I’m going to drown. I’m going to drown.”
The officer calls again:
“No, not you.”
A second officer called out below:
“Go … to the arch and hold on.”
Beckings yells back:
An officer called:
“Come back to the arch.”
Beacons responds, more insane:
“I can’t. I can’t. “
An officer replies:
“Okay, I’m not jumping after you.”
Beckings’ last words came from there, with him begging for help before slipping under the water:
“Help me. Please, please, please. I can’t touch. Oh God. Help me. Help me.… Can you hear me?”
So, very sad …
In a statement released jointly with Transcript, Temp PD claims:
“[Bickings drowned after] Voluntarily enters the water and soon becomes unable to continue swimming. Before entering the lake, he was talking to officers, without handcuffs, who responded to a call for an alleged fight between Beckings and his comrades. No one was arrested for the crime. When officers arrived, they spoke to Beckings and his partner, who cooperated fully and denied any physical altercation. “
The department said officers were running Beakings’ name through their database to check for warrants, which they say was the standard procedure when he first climbed the railing:
“That check was not completed when the Beacons decided to slowly climb onto a 4-foot metal fence and enter the water. Officials told him he was not allowed to swim in the lake. He repeatedly indicated before swimming about 30-40 yards that he was in trouble. He soon went downstairs and never recovered. “
The Beacons were “members of a homeless Tempe community,” police later claimed in a release to the media. They further stated that he had “three outstanding warrants”.
Now, three reactionary officers who witnessed the sinking have been placed on administrative leave of undisciplined pay until the outcome of the investigation, according to the department.
In a statement published CNNThe Temp Officers Association The police union said the police did No. Take water rescue training – or they have no tools to help you risk drowning. TOA News Outlet says:
“Such a high-risk rescue effort could easily result in the death of a person on the water and an officer who could be dragged down by a struggling adult. Officers are trained to call the fire department and get a police boat to Tempe. Officers have done so here.”
The statement continued:
“[The interaction was] Mr. Beacons was basically amicable before entering the lake. He was free to go at any time. To watch the 11-minute video of Mr. Beckings entering Tempe Town Lake and to understand how this 911 call ended, one has to watch the horrific loss of life. Our grief reflects the grief of our community. No one wanted the incident to end that way. “
However, not everyone who watched the video interpreted it as such.
Jamar WilliamsWith a staff Phoenix Black Lives MatterSaid USA Today That “no question” cops were “indifferent” when they saw the Beacons drown. He added:
“It simply came to our notice then [Bickings’ nickname] Frightened by the threat. It was police torture. The police don’t have to actually practice that violence to create fear, panic and self-survival. It’s all about state violence and police violence. “
You can see the body cam footage clipped for yourself (below), but beware, although the actual death of Beacons has been removed from the video, it is still very annoying in context:
That’s great. Such a heartbreaking situation.
[Image via Fox 10 Phoenix/YouTube]