A man died as a consequence of the actions of the officers you see in the video below.
The fundamental question is 'WHY?'
Why, first of all, did the officers feel they had to aggress against Lashano Gilbert in the first place?
Clearly he was not having a good time in the dismal, dirty holding cell where he'd been put after being returned to the New London, CT, jail from the hospital where he had been seen for an apparent emotional/psychological condition. But there was no sign at all -- at all -- that he was so upset or agitated that he would require the kind of physical force that was ultimately used against him. In fact, he is cooperative, compliant, and appears to be almost pleading with the officers, perhaps indicating he is not feeling well, perhaps requesting medical attention or perhaps to use the phone outside his cell. We can't tell for sure because there is no sound in the video.
But even if he was saying something else, it wouldn't really matter. He is doing nothing to cause what happens to him later.
The officers refuse to let him out of the cell.
As he approaches the door to the cell, one of the officers pushes him back, and he explodes. He races out of the cell, and throws himself all over the room outside, repeatedly escaping from the officers and throwing things at them. It's quite a scene.
Anyone who's been around psychiatric patients for any length of time has seen or heard of this kind of break. Professionals know how to deal with this sort of thing without causing harm to themselves or to the patient.
Unfortunately, officers of the law, particularly in custody/jail situations, do not.
Their entire perspective with regard to people like Mr. Gilbert is that they must be made to submit and comply with whatever demand the officers make.
Should compliance and submission be lacking, the officers will use whatever force they deem necessary to compel compliance and submission, up to and including use of lethal force.
That's what we see here.
The officers are so intent on forcing compliance and submission on Mr. Gilbert that nothing else matters, not even their own safety, and certainly not Mr. Gilbert's.
Because Mr. Gilbert does not completely cease all movement -- at least not until he is apparently unconscious -- the officers continue using force against him, including repeated stuns with an "electrocontrol device" and (apparently) use of pepper spray directly into his face.
One of the officers is seen repeatedly punching Mr. Gilbert in the face. Another is seen with his knee on Mr. Gilbert's head, and subsequently (after repeated uses of the stun gun and pepper spray) he is seen with his knee on Mr. Gilbert's neck. As we know, this is an extremely dangerous and potentially lethal control technique, especially after use of stun guns and/or pepper spray.
It's reported that Mr. Gilbert said he couldn't breathe when a towel was wrapped around his head -- a highly likely situation given the force and the pepper spray used against him. As long as he kept moving, however, even if his movements weren't in the least threatening to the officers, force was used against Mr. Gilbert. The officers did not relent until he was apparently unconscious.
Shortly thereafter he was dead.
The officers we see are not concerned with Mr. Gilbert's condition, but they are certainly concerned with their own condition as some of them seem to be reacting badly to the pepper spray. They cough and pull up their pant legs to inspect for injuries. Meanwhile Mr. Gilbert is being restrained with as much force and brutality as the officers deem necessary -- which, as it happens, is too much to sustain Mr. Gilbert's life.
There is literally no concern for Mr. Gilbert's life in evidence at all. This is typical of officers in jail and prison situations, and too often it is typical of officers on the street or behind the public counter at the department as well.
They do not care about the lives of the people they are sworn to serve and protect, and that is one of the prime reasons there are so many deaths and injuries to civilians caused by both the actions of police and by neglect from the police.
The culture of policing today enforces a lack of concern with any lives but their own, and even then, we have to wonder if the actions and attitudes of police serve anyone, even themselves.
What necessity was served by the death of Lashano Gilbert?
Why did he have to die?