Cries for help heard on dash cam video of fatal arrest

Credit: The Daily Advertiser

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office has released squad car dash camera footage of the arrest of Robert Minjarez Jr., 30, by deputies on March 2, 2014.

The video, which only shows a couple of police cars as the audio of Minjarez’s arrest can be heard, depicts the struggle he had with officers from the Carencro and Scott Police Departments as well as deputies from the sheriff’s office that night.

Police responded to reports that night saying Minjarez was outside of a convenience store on North University Avenue causing a disturbance. He was wrestled to the ground by three to four officers who then sat on or partially on him for roughly five minutes before he became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Minjarez died five days after the arrest from drug-inflicted brain damage, but also “compressional asphyxia due to face-down physical restraint by law enforcement officers with contribution of rhabdomyolysis and cocaine toxicity.”

The officers who restrained Minjarez were not indicted by a grand jury May 29.

In the video, Minjarez can be heard telling the officers, “I didn’t do nothing to nobody, why are ya’ll doing this to me?”

Officers then told him to get on the ground.

A struggle can be heard as Minjarez screamed for help.

“You’re going to kill me, you’re going to kill me!” he exclaimed. “I can’t breathe.”

The officers can be heard telling him to relax, and that if he does, so will they.

“You’ve got 265 pounds on your back,” one of the officers can be heard saying. “You’re not going anywhere.”

At the end of the video, Minjarez goes silent and the officers can be heard saying that he fell unconscious. Paramedics with Acadian Ambulance rushed him to the hospital shortly after.

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