Kansas authorities released surveillance video on January 21 that shows what led up to the death of 17-year-old Cedric Lofton while in custody at Wichita’s Juvenile Intake Assessment Center, The Associated Press reports.
On September 24, Lofton’s foster parents called the police to report that he was having a mental health crisis. The Wichita police restrained Lofton and took him to the facility. According to authorities, Lofton became combative at the juvenile center, and after restraining him face down for more than 30 minutes, the 5-foot-10, 135-pound teen was dead.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett announced on Jan. 18 that the state’s “stand-your-ground” law barred him from charging the juvenile center’s staff with a crime. He said they were just protecting themselves. That announcement prompted the family’s supporters to protest and demand to see the video.
According to the AP, one video shows several officers carrying Lofton into the center wearing a WRAP, a device used to restrain someone who is “out of control.”
Once released from the device, Lofton appears to walk out of his holding cell and get into an physical altercation with two staff members who attempt to force him back into the cell. More staff members arrived and helped to restrain him, leaving face down on his stomach for more than 30 minutes. Later, they realized that Lofton wasn't breathing. According to the autopsy report, his death was deemed a homicide.
The video doesn’t show a close angle of exactly what happened inside the cell, however.
In the clip below, local station KAKE’s Eli Higgins reports on the video, which may be disturbing to watch.