Local authorities report that Richard Linyard, 23, died shortly after being wedged between two buildings in an East Oakland neighborhood this past Sunday night.
The Oakland Police Department has disclosed that the young man fled on foot after being pulled over during a traffic stop. After running into a nearby yard, officers claim to have called for backup before their search of the area. About 30 minutes later, Linyard was found stuck in a space measuring less than a foot wide. Officer Johnna Watson, a police spokeswoman for the department, is asserting no foul play.
“There was no active pursuit, no fight, no use of force,” Watson told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We were in the process of conducting a search when the officers located this individual.”
But this story sounds unusual to the young man’s mother, who spoke with KRON 4 following the incident. In the interview, she states that she believes that the police choked her son to death. She was told by police that her son choked on his own vomit.
“He’s too big to get in there,” she said, referring to the small alley where her son was allegedly located.
Linyard, who created music under the name “Afrikan Richie,” is remembered as “a bright young man who was always there to help someone in need.” A GoFundMe page has been created to help with funeral costs by his cousin Renee Hearnton.
“Richard did not deserve his life to be taken from him at such a young age and we are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” Hearnton wrote on the fundraising page.
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