Nearly one year after a man died in Chicago police custody, video of what went down the night of his death has surfaced.
Heriberto Godinez’s family had been fighting with City Hall for months to obtain the dashcam footage and additional information like 911 tapes and other documents relating to his death.
On Friday, under the Freedom of Information Act, hours of dashcam video footage along with hundreds of pages of documents as well as the 911 tapes were released.
The video showed one officer out of a group of cops surrounding Godinez standing on his neck after they responded to emergency calls of an assault in progress and caught him ransacking a garage. In the clip, he was already handcuffed, but reportedly became agitated and it appeared to take several officers to restrain him with one kicking him as he was on the ground.
Godinez (pictured above) died at the age of 24 at the scene while he was handcuffed and lying face down in a police vehicle shortly after officers called an ambulance.
His death was caused by a “combined cocaine and ethanol toxicity,” the Cook County medical examiner’s office reported. But the manner of his death was undetermined.
“They treated my brother worse than an animal,” said the victim’s sister, Janet Godinez, after seeing the footage for the first time. “My brother was hiding. My brother was scared. They were standing on his neck while my brother was handcuffed.”
Newly sworn-in Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson apologized to the family. The names of the officers involved have not been released, but Johnson announced that two had been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of an investigation.
(Photo: Courtesy of Heriberto Godinez Jr.' s Family)