UPDATE: Video is now available of 57-year-old Barbara Dawson pleading with cops just outside of a patrol car moments before she collapsed. Dawson's pleas just 90 minutes before her death are extremely difficult to hear. Watch the video above to see what went down.
Tallahassee, Florida, police are under fire for attempting to force the body of Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old African-American woman, into a police patrol car after she collapsed. Officers say they thought she was pretending to be "dead weight" and resisting, AP reports. She died 90 minutes later at a hospital.
Currently, there is an investigation underway by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Earlier that day, Dawson had been admitted to Liberty-Calhoun Hospital for abdominal pain and was treated. After she was discharged, she requested further medical attention and refused to leave because she was still not feeling well. Officers then intervened and she was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Officer John Tadlack took Dawson's oxygen hose — although she tried to stop him from doing so — and handcuffed her, according to a police report. Dawson said she had trouble breathing. But the medical staff and police thought she "appeared to be breathing fine," a police report stated. Cops proceeded to push her to the patrol car.
Minutes later, Dawson collapsed near the vehicle.
"It was believed by myself that Dawson was just being noncompliant and making herself dead weight in an effort to avoid going to jail," Dawson said.
A nurse checked Dawson and said she was OK, but a doctor ordered her to be brought back to the hospital. She died of a blood clot in her lungs. The CEO of Liberty-Calhoun Hospital said her condition was "difficult to detect and can be impossible to treat."
Hospital staff told AP there was no footage of the incident recorded because their cameras' servers were being upgraded. There is a police dash cam video that may be released to the family.
Dawson is now one of many African-Americans who have died in the hands of police while complaining of having health issues. After an arrest in April, Freddie Gray requested medical attention and later died in a hospital after suffering from severe spinal injuries and falling into a coma. Eric Garner's final words, "I can't breathe" were ignored as an NYPD officer held him in an illegal chokehold in 2014.
Graphic image shows Barbara Dawson unresponsive near patrol car. (Photo: Courtesy of the family of Barbara Dawson via AP)
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