Oakland Police Kill Handcuffed Man, Ignoring His Pleas of “I Can’t Breathe”


Footage of the detainment of 51-year-old Hernan Jaramillo was leaked this week. The police body cam recorded Jaramillo repeatedly calling out “I can’t breathe” and “they’re killing me.” He called out 20 times in 4 minutes while police pressed him, handcuffed, against the sidewalk.

The footage, from 2013, is of Jaramillo’s final moments. His cries grow quieter until he eventually passes out. Jaramillo was found dead by medics 6 minutes after he stopped yelling with vomit in his airways.

Questions remain about the events leading up to his death. Jaramillo’s sister called the police shortly before 2 a.m. claiming that she believed an intruder was trying to attack her brother.

When police arrived they did not find an intruder, only Jaramillo and his sister. Jaramillo refused to let them inside the residence and was handcuffed. Officers claim that he resisted several attempts of the officers trying to investigate the situation followed by them trying to put him in a squad car. They believed he was having a mental health episode.

One of the officers, Ira Anderson, has stated on record that when they were trying to get him into the car he noticed Jaramillo’s hands handcuffed in front of him, rather than behind him. At this point Anderson took action to get him face down on the sidewalk. The video footage shows Jaramillo with his hands handcuffed behind his back.

Officers claim they restrained Jaramillo by his arms and wrists, but conflicting eyewitness accounts state at least one officer was pressing a knee into his back.

Thomas Rogers, the doctor that conducted the autopsy on Jaramillo, stated that he had drugs in his system and that cause of death was “multiple drug intoxication associated with physical exertion.” However, an attorney representing Jaramillo’s family says they have an independent pathologist on record rejecting that drugs played a part in his death and that there was no evidence of drug use by him that night.

You can view the released body cam video footage below. (WARNING: Graphic content):


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Ruth Milka started as an intern for NationofChange in 2015. Known for her thoughtful and thorough approach, Ruth is committed to shedding light on the intersection of environmental issues and their impact on human communities. Her reporting consistently highlights the urgency of environmental challenges while emphasizing the human stories at the heart of these issues. Ruth’s work is driven by a passion for truth and a dedication to informing the public about critical global matters concerning the environment and human rights.