Sharpton to eulogize Black man who died after telling police ‘I can’t breathe’

The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy this week for Frank Tyson, a Black man who died after telling Ohio police officers “I can’t breathe” as they attempted to arrest him.

Sharpton announced that Tyson’s family has asked him and civil rights attorney Ben Crump to be at the funeral on Wednesday. Crump is representing Tyson’s family and is expected to issue a call to justice during the services.

“Frank Tyson’s cries of ‘I can’t breathe’ are ones we have heard far too often when Black men and women die in police custody,” Sharpton said in a statement on Monday.

Authorities in Canton, Ohio released body camera footage of the arrest of the 53-year-old Tyson last month. His cries of “I can’t breathe” were reminiscent of those of George Floyd, a Black man who was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020. Other Minneapolis officers were convicted of crimes in Floyd’s death.

The 36-minute video footage showed Canton officers entered an AMVETS post where Tyson was after crashing his car. As officers restrained and arrested Tyson, one can be seen putting his knee on Tyson’s upper body.

When Tyson told officers he couldn’t breathe, one responded, “You’re fine.”

After officers place handcuffs on Tyson, the footage shows him lying motionless for about five minutes before police checked on him and found him unresponsive. Officers eventually administered CPR and Narcan to Tyson.

Medics then transported Tyson to a hospital, where he later died.

“Once again, we have seen footage of those pleas for help not only ignored but dismissed by officers using excessive force — who then left him to lie unconscious for several minutes,” said Sharpton on Monday, adding that he is committed to “delivering justice” for Tyson’s family.

The two primary officers, Beau Schoenegge and Camden Burch, have been placed on administrative leave as an investigation unfolds.

Last week, the NAACP called for the Department of Justice to investigate the incident, saying that “the police officers may not be held accountable for their actions” without federal intervention.

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