The Louisiana cops told Frank Armando that they had a warrant for his arrest, only they could not show it to him until they transported him to the police station.
But Armando, who was sitting on top of a tractor, insisted on seeing it before allowing them to arrest him.
Instead, they strangled him to death.
The incident took place on October 20, 2017, but body cam footage of the incident was not released until this week,
Body cam footage showing Louisiana cops strangle a man for refusing to step off a tractor
The video begins with Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Sergeant Alexander M. Daniel confirming to dispatch that they arrived at Wal-Mart where they have spotted Armando.
The deputy walks up to Armando and asks for his identification, which he receives.
“I understand that you are a veteran? Both of us are too,” Daniel says pointing to Avoyelles Parish sheriff’s deputy Brandon Spillman on the other side of the tractor.
“Do you mind coming on down here and talking to us over here real quick?,” Daniel asks.
“What y’all need?,” Armando responds.
Almost a full minutes goes by before Daniel finally tells him there is a warrant for his arrest.
Armando responds by leaning back in the tractor asking what the warrant was for.
“I don’t know what the warrant is for, but i do have a warrant for your arrest. It’s at the sheriff’s office, we can discuss it when we get there,” Daniel says.
Armando asks to see the warrant and then tells the officers that he is not stepping off the tractor and they go back and forth for another minute with the deputies insisting he step off the tractor and Armando refusing to do so unless they could show him a warrant.
Eventually, the deputies climb on the tractor and get physical with him, grabbing on to his arms and tasering him, placing him in a chokehold.
The two deputies were joined by Marksville police officer Kenneth Parnell, who grabs Armando’s arms.
At this point, Armando can be heard coughing, then grasping and wheezing for several minutes.
Six minutes into the video, Armando asks to be let up three times, in an increasingly deep and strained voice, as he hangs off the tractor.
The officers eventually are able to get Armando off the tractor and immediately pile on top of Armando.
At that point, Armando’s body stops responding and the officers drag him to the patrol car.
Daniel tells one of the officers that it is not his first time dealing with his family.
“Do you remember the dead guy’s gate that I ran over while trying to figure out if he is dead? That is his son,” Daniel says.
Now the three law enforcement officers are being sued after a forensic pathologist found that the primary cause of Frank’s death was manual strangulation caused by lateral vascular neck restraint.
The arrest warrant was for simple criminal trespassing and attempted unauthorized entry into a dwelling.
According to The Advocate:
“An Avoyelles Parish grand jury weighed negligent homicide charges against the law enforcement personnel, and in March declined to return any indictments.”
“Every action of every individual involved that day was well documented,” said Steve Martel, chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Office, earlier this week. “All that information was provided to the district attorney in a case file for grand jury review.”
The reports of the incident show that none of the officer attempted to resuscitate Armando.
Spillman’s report of what happened was falsified stating that Frank “suddenly raised his hand toward my face” and that Frank continued resisting after being forced off the tractor and refused to step up on his feet.
Armando has had a long history of recorded medical issues that the Veteran Affairs knew about such as: chronic anxiety, “difficulty coping” and hallucinations, among other complications, according to records obtained by The Advocate.
Those that have seen the video on social media are comparing this to the choke hold that killed Eric Garner stating that the victims were both black and the officers were white. Both used choke holds and both were taken to court but not convicted of murder.
FBI’s New Orleans Field Division spokesman Craig Betbeze said he could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation,” when asked by The Advocate.
Bystanders also recorded the death of Armando from a different angle.