Manitoba prisoner repeatedly exclaimed ‘I cannot breathe’ over 20 occasions while being restrained by guards prior to his demise, as depicted in the video.

Manitoba prisoner repeatedly exclaimed ‘I cannot breathe’ over 20 occasions while being restrained by guards prior to his demise, as depicted in the video.

WARNING: This story accommodates disturbing video and particulars.

William Ahmo uttered the phrases “I can’t breathe” greater than 20 instances whereas officers swarmed and restrained him in a Manitoba jail, video footage of his last hours on the Headingley Correctional Centre exhibits. 

The video footage, shot on a handheld digital camera contained in the jail greater than two years in the past, was proven in a Winnipeg courtroom final week through the first day of a trial for the corrections officer who faces prices in Ahmo’s loss of life.

Robert Jeffrey Morden, a correctional officer who was the captain of Headingley’s emergency response unit, pleaded not responsible to legal negligence inflicting loss of life and failing to offer necessaries of life.

Ahmo, 45, who was an inmate at Headingley, was taken to hospital in medical misery following a Feb. 7, 2021, standoff with corrections officers in a typical room on the jail.

He died per week later. Manitoba’s chief health worker dominated his loss of life a murder. 

CBC Information considered the almost 21-minute-long video exhibiting the Feb. 7 incident, which exhibits what begins as a standoff between Ahmo and corrections officers and ends with him receiving emergency first assist.

Provincial court docket Decide Tony Cellitti, who’s presiding over Morden’s trial, authorised the general public launch of the video on Friday.

The lawyer who’s representing Ahmo’s household in a civil lawsuit instructed CBC they wished the video launched to the general public.

WARNING: The video and descriptions under comprise graphic content material.

An excerpt from 21-minute-long video exhibiting the Feb. 7, 2021, incident:

Video footage exhibits Ahmo’s final minutes

Warning: This video accommodates disturbing content material. Video footage exhibits Headingley jail inmate William Ahmo being swarmed and restrained by corrections officers on Feb. 7, 2021. Ahmo was taken to hospital in medical misery and died per week later. His loss of life was dominated a murder.

Wrestle with officers

The footage begins after Ahmo created a disturbance within the jail, and different inmates had been then locked of their cells.

In one other video proven in court docket, Ahmo — an Anishinaabe man from Sagkeeng First Nation — is heard telling disaster negotiator Michel Jolicoeur that he was upset over listening to a racist joke earlier that day. 

Within the 21-minute video, Ahmo is seen ripping a water tank and televisions off the wall, smashing the televisions on the ground, and throwing gadgets on the protecting glass of a secured employees space. 

In the beginning of the video, Ahmo stands on the prime of a stairwell swinging a mop deal with, as officers hearth projectiles — described in court docket as “flash bangs” (stun grenades) and stinger grenades, which launch a chemical irritant — at him from the ground under. Ahmo holds a trash can up as a protect earlier than descending the steps, swinging the deal with on the officers.

A gaggle of not less than seven officers with shields and batons take Ahmo down on the ground. A wrestle ensues for about two minutes till officers restrain his wrists and ankles. 

Ahmo is then taken away from the frequent space into one other room, nonetheless face down on the ground.

“You’re crushing my neck,” Ahmo says.

A pair of officers look like kneeling on his again, and certainly one of them seems to have a hand on the again of his neck.

Ahmo first tells the guards he can’t breathe about seven minutes into the video — two minutes after he was absolutely restrained. 

An officer continues to pin Ahmo face down, together with his legs and arms held down and an officer’s knee on Ahmo’s higher again — a restraint generally known as a inclined restraint, court docket was instructed. 

A corrections officer says, “He can’t breathe, so are you able to simply ensure that he can breathe?”

A person in denims sporting medical gloves comes into view and seems to be at Ahmo. A corrections officer giving instructions to the group asks, “Is he good?” 

“He’s good now,” is the reply, and the officer giving instructions confirms {that a} nurse checked on Ahmo.

Chair restraint

Ahmo continues to exclaim he can’t breathe time and again, as officers transfer him right into a chair with wheels and a vertical again. His arms stay restrained behind his again and Ahmo is slumped over. 

Morden will be heard off digital camera yelling, “If you happen to’re speaking to us, you may breathe!”

“Choking,” Ahmo responds.

He stays slumped over within the chair, groaning and panting as officers wrestle to restrain him within the chair.

“Be quiet!” an officer yells.

“I can’t breathe!” Ahmo exclaims and repeats 5 extra instances. 

Shortly after, an officer will be heard yelling at Ahmo, telling him to cease transferring. Ahmo replies by telling him he’d cease transferring if “you let me breathe.”  

After an altercation in Headingley Correctional Institute in Feb. 2021, William Walter Ahmo was found unconscious, and died a week later.
William Ahmo died in hospital on Feb. 14, 2021, per week after the altercation with corrections officers at Headingley Correctional Centre. (Submitted by Darlene Ahmo)

Ahmo will be heard panting by means of a spit hood round 11 minutes into the video. Seconds later, officers pile on him once more. He begins to muster a scream whereas struggling within the chair. An officer is seen kneeing him within the abdomen simply earlier than the video reaches its 12-minute mark.

Officers proceed to restrain Ahmo within the chair, swarming and piling on him as he struggles, slumped over and persevering with to croak out he can’t breathe.

A muffled “please” is heard.

The officer calling out instructions tells the group to “get him to the bottom” however “hold management of him!”

Ahmo is lowered to the bottom onto his again, and cries out he can’t breathe two last instances. 

All through the footage, he repeated this phrase not less than 23 instances.

No response

He’s rolled to the bottom by the group about 14 minutes into the video as an officer yells “simply let him sit there.” 

Seconds later, the identical officer will be heard saying “simply let him settle down. Let’s get as few guys as we want on the physique.” Nevertheless, not less than 5 officers will be seen in view holding him down. 

“Would you like assist?” the officer says to Ahmo twice, with no response. “Is he respiratory?” he asks. Somebody says sure.

Quickly after, Ahmo is rolled right into a “restoration place” and corrections officers attempt to find a pulse. An officer will be heard asking, “So he’s nonetheless good? He’s nonetheless alive?”

One other officer says, “He’s nonetheless alive.”

Seconds later, one other officer will be heard saying, “he’s at present non-responsive, however he does have a pulse and he does have a heartbeat and he’s respiratory.” 

A noise that seems like a snore will be heard from Ahmo as this dialog is occurring and the officers additionally discover it. 

‘Respiratory that happens on the finish of life’: pathologist

At Morden’s trial earlier this week, forensic pathologist Dr. Charles Littman mentioned Ahmo confirmed indicators of agonal respiratory — a sort of breath that seems like somebody gasping for air — within the video.

“It’s respiratory that happens on the finish of life,” Littman testified. “It’s a number of breaths — a reflex response — to the mind being starved of oxygen.”

Close to the top of the video, Ahmo is dragged again into the chair. A corrections officer tells the group to “watch his head” and one other officer pulls it again shortly. At this level, Ahmo is sitting within the chair together with his head again and his mouth open. 

Shortly after, a corrections officer says, “He’s not in a giant world of damage proper now,” because the 45-year-old is mendacity together with his head again and mouth open, unresponsive within the chair. 

Towards the tail finish of the video, a special nurse says she must administer oxygen to Ahmo and provoke a “code purple,” which means an individual has no pulse. Ahmo is placed on his again.

One other individual begins giving him oxygen as officers proceed to carry down his limbs earlier than the video ends.

Ahmo was then taken to hospital, the place he died on Feb. 14, 2021.

Morden’s judge-only trial started Sept. 1. It resumes Sept. 25, when Morden’s lawyer is anticipated to name defence witnesses.

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