Wearing nothing but socks and underwear, Nykon Brandon entered a brewery in Salt Lake City and attempted to steal beer from customers.
An employee of the brewery called 911 as the 35-year-old man ran into the streets.
“He’s running around, running around crazy, very erratic,” the employee told the dispatcher. “He just jumps in and out of the road, definitely mental health issues going on so … if you got mental health resources, send them out.”
Salt Lake City police officers responded with two of them tackling him before struggling to handcuff him. At one point, he appeared to reach for the cop’s gun but never touched it. More cops arrived and piled on top of him.
One cop kept forcing Brandon’s face into the ground and each time he tried to lift his head up to breathe, the cops told him to “stop resisting.”
They also kept telling him to place his hands behind his back but it appeared he was unable to do so because they had their full body weight on him.
Even after they placed the handcuffs on him, the cop continued to hold his head into the ground until he stopped moving and speaking.
“Can you hear me, can you hear me?” a cop asks while tapping his shoulder.
“Is he alive?” another cop asks as they roll him over.
That is when the video released by Salt Lake City police Friday ends. In fact, all eight body camera videos released by police end at that moment.
Police say he was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour later but the videos show he was probably already dead.
The incident took place on August 14 and has raised concern among local activists.
“Stealing a beer does not equate to the death penalty,” said Lex Scott, the founder of Black Lives Matter-Utah, according to the Associated Press.
“I don’t care if this man robbed 10 banks in one day. He didn’t deserve to die. He deserved to make it to court.”
Brandon, who described himself on his Facebook page as a “Native Warrior on a Journey in this Life,” had another interaction with a different police agency about two hours earlier where they found him intoxicated in a park.
South Salt Lake police dropped him off at a detox facility and cited him for intoxication, according to KUTV.
But the detox facility which is operated by the nonprofit Volunteers of America is not a detention center so he was allowed to leave at his will.
After leaving the facility, he entered the Fisher Beer brewery which is only three blocks away.
Two years ago in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the city implemented a new use-of-force policy that required cops to use “de-escalation techniques before using force” but that did not happen in this case.
The new policy also states that “force must only be used when necessary, and force used must be proportionate to the situation.”
Salt Lake City police are trying to justify the incident by saying he twice tried to grab the cops’ guns but he never had a firm grasp on the guns.
“The suspect is seen on body-worn camera refusing to comply with multiple commands, immediately fighting with our officers, grabbing two of their guns and resisting while being arrested,” a police spokesperson told the Washington Post.
Watch the video below.