In Seattle Drunk In Public Has Death Sentence, for Unidentified 53 Year old Man

Seattle police are investigating the death of a 53-year-old man who died after he was taken into police custody in North Seattle last month.

Officers responded to “reports of a man in the street” at North 105th Street and Aurora Avenue North shortly after 11 p.m. on Nov. 18, the department said in a blog post.

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) on Wednesday released audio and video of the events leading to the man’s death, recorded by officers’ body cameras.

The 27-minute video, published on the department’s blog, begins with officers parking and approaching the man on the sidewalk. The two parties go back and forth for roughly 10 minutes, with the officers offering him a ride home. He declines.

As officers start to leave, the man walked into the intersection with traffic. The video shows officers pushing the man to the sidewalk while he fights back and restraining him to the ground. Police then called an ambulance to take the man to a hospital for medical treatment, police say in the post.

Police call Seattle firefighters, and an officer in the video is heard saying the man is having “low breathing.” The 53-year-old was on the gurney in the back of the ambulance when the video stops.

The ambulance crew began CPR, police say in the post. The life-saving efforts were unsuccessful, and the man died at the scene, the post says.

SPD released the body-cam video Wednesday “in keeping with the Seattle Police Department’s ongoing transparency efforts,” the blog post says.

Portions of the video are blurred or redacted, as part of the department’s obligation to Washington law that requires keeping sensitive information from police body-camera videos private.