“Please Don’t Kill Me Officer!” — Man’s Last Words as He Dies in Police Custody After Beating

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In the early hours of the morning on May 4, 2013 police officers knocked the door of the Super Eight Motel room where Linwood Lambert had been staying. They were responding to an excessive noise complaint at the accommodation.

When Lambert responded, they found him acting paranoid and rambling somewhat incoherently about corpses buried in the ceiling.

Since he was unarmed and not a suspect, the three cops decided it was best to take him to the emergency room.

Corporal Tiffany Bratton, Officers Clifton Mann and Travis Clay were each driving their own police vehicles.

They piled him into one of the squad cars and told him he was on his way to Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. The officers decided to handcuff him.

Just over one hour later, the 46-year-old construction professional was dead.
“Why are you trying to kill me, man?”

Up until now, there was no account as such of what had happened on the short ride to the hospital on that fateful day. Now, well over two years after the unfortunate incident, police videos have been released showing what took place inside that squad car.

Minutes before his death, Lambert was tased several times and was bleeding profusely – yet, the department claims there was no police brutality.

Paramedics say that the police told them that he was resisting them; however, the videos tell a different story, it turns out he had been unconscious at that time.

Lambert remained paranoid during the ride to the hospital. The restless man asked about a light in the back seat and about the police car that was following them. He became more agitated as they approached the hospital.

As they were pulling up, Lambert kicked out the car window. Officers told him to stop immediately. Then, once they cracked the passenger door he jumped out and dashed towards the emergency room entrance and ran into the glass doors.

This is when the cops began tasing him, as a result his body became rigid all the while with his hands tied behind his back. So, when he fell to the ground he could not protect himself.

As three officers hovered on top of him, they asked him to remain on the cement floor.

“Every time you get up, I’m going to pop you,” Officer Bratton can be heard saying.
Lambert groaned in pain as he muttered, “I didn’t do nothing”. The cops repeat their warning and ask him to get on his belly and rollover.

He can be clearly seen obeying orders and not resisting the officers’ commands. Yet, the cops remind him that they would tase him again.

Finally, Lambert admitted that he had done cocaine – explanation enough for his anxiety during the encounter. It is important to note that throughout the incident he was unarmed and did not attack the cops.

Once he announced he had done the illegal drug, for the first time that night, the members of law enforcement tell him that he was under arrest. His charges were disorderly conduct and destruction of property.

The confused man pleads them to stop using the stun gun.

“Why are you trying to kill me, man?” He can be heard saying.

“Don’t do it, please don’t do it, please officers.”

As the hospital staff looked on, the cops decided to take Lambert back to the squad car. The visit that they had brought him for was all of a sudden unnecessary.

Excessive force

Records show that he was tased at least 20 times in around 30 minutes. Witnesses say at one point three officers were using their stun guns on him at the same time.

Lambert suffered about 87 seconds of tasing. This intensity, federal guidelines suggest, can cause serious injury or death.

Officer Bratton used her weapon a total of 15 times, out of which 10 discharges occurred in a two-minute window.

Indicative of how indifferent the cops were to Lambert’s pain are Officer Mann’s remarks that he made after Clay left with the victim to drop him to jail.

The former had to stay back to talk to a hospital worker.

When the staff member asks him if the arrested man would be brought to hospital, the cop can be heard snickering.

“We were,” said Clay, “now he’s going to jail.” 

“He’s bleeding like a hog,” he added.

A short ride

During his ride to the jail, Lambert can be seen lying unconscious.

Once he got there, officers tried to revive him and even attempted CPR but nothing worked. So, an ambulance had to be called to take him back to the hospital.

His time of death was 6:23 AM; just 85 minutes after the police had offered to help him.
Court orders

The videos would not have been released, had it not been for Lambert’s sister Gwendolyn Smalls. She filed a lawsuit, which resulted in a court order instructing a release of the footage from that night.

She watched the damning recording for the first time last month. She describes it as a “nightmare”.

Lambert’s father has also seen the videos.

“You wouldn’t do any human or any species like that. I don’t think anyone could hate someone that bad to inflict pain such as what they did.”

The $25 million civil lawsuit filed by the family alleges excessive force, wrongful death, denial of medical care amongst other claims. The police have denied every single one of these accusations.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5648 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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