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NC Man Cries Out While Pinned Face-Down In Body Camera Videos Showing Scene Before Death

David Ford
Protesters gather outside of the Forsyth County courthouse Wednesday after the videos of the events that led up to John Neville's death were made public.

Police body camera video showing the events in a Forsyth County jail that preceded the death of John Neville has been released, showing him struggling after having a medical emergency and officers keeping him face down on the floor.

In July, Forsyth District Attorney Jim O’Neill described what happened to John Neville as tragic and avoidable. Just this week, Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said video of the incident saddened him so much that he cried.

Now the public has a chance to see what — until now — only those close to the investigation have witnessed. It shows Neville calling out for his mother and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” while multiple officers keep him pinned.

The video also shows the officers trying to calm Neville and assuring him that medical help is on the way.

Neville ultimately died in the wake of the encounter. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be a brain injury that resulted from a lack of oxygen after being restrained face down.

Last week a judge ordered the videos released, and they were made public Wednesday to multiple news outlets that sought them.

Neville died in December but it would take seven months before authorities publicly acknowledged what happened to him. Five detention officers and an on-call nurse face charges including involuntary manslaughter.

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