This is the shocking moment a dying suspect is ignored by cops after pleading for help from the back of a police car.
Andrew Kearse died of cardiac arrhythmia on his way to a police station in Schenectady in May 2017 after being arrested for fleeing a traffic stop.
Harrowing footage shows him struggling to breathe in the back of the police car of Officer Mark Weekes during the three-mile drive to the station.
Documents and footage released by the Attorney General’s office reveal Kearse became unresponsive en route to the station after informing Weekes he couldn’t breathe and calling out to officers for help 20 times during seven minutes at the scene.
Weekes then drove Kearse directly to the station, but at a normal speed, and during the first eight minutes of the drive Kearse called out for help another 29 times without reply from the police officer – the Attorney General’s Office said.
The victim was then said to have collapsed in the back seat of the cop car and fallen silent just before they made it to the station.
Officers placed him on the sidewalk at the station, but it took Weekes another six minutes to begin chest compressions. Shortly after starting those, he called for paramedics, the report reads.
The video, along with a report, was released as a grand jury cleared city officer Mark Weekes of wrongdoing in Kearse’s death.
Acting Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood on Friday said the grand jury declined to file charges despite her office’s efforts.
‘After an exhaustive investigation, which we describe in detail in today’s report, we concluded that there was sufficient evidence that a crime had been committed to warrant a presentation to a grand jury,’ Underwood said in a prepared statement.
‘The grand jury, however, declined charges; we are prohibited by law from discussing what occurred in the grand jury.’
‘Regardless of the grand jury’s decision, Mr. Kearse’s death was a tragedy that never should have happened, and reforms must be made to prevent similar future tragedies,’ Underwood said.
‘To that end, we are urging crucial reforms to how police departments across the state handle medical emergencies.’
‘I want to be clear: A complaint about breathing difficulties should not be dismissed because the arrestee is able to talk,’ Underwood’s statement reads.
Kearse’s widow, Angelique Negroni-Kearse, both disappointed at the decision and hopeful at the recommendation.
‘I’m very disappointed in the grand jury, that they didn’t indict the officers,’ Negroni-Kearse said Friday afternoon.
She hopes changes in the law for better medical response will be called ‘Andrew’s Law.’ She said that means something would come of her husband’s death.
‘For this tragedy to save other lives, then he didn’t die in vain,’ Negroni-Kearse said.
Kearse, who was freed April 26 from a two-year stint in prison for stealing credit cards and electronics from a car, was in Schenectady visiting on May 11 when he was pulled over for driving erratically.
He parked and took off. Why exactly the Kearse ran from police is unclear, but he’d failed to report to his parole officer after his release and an ‘absconder’ warrant had been issued for his arrest, according to correction records.
‘Officers themselves were judge, jury and executioner for my husband,’ said his widow, who learned of the death from news reports before police contacted her. ‘They did not give him the medical attention he asked for.’