US police officers not charged over killing of young man in Louisiana

A grand jury in the United States has declined to indict police officers who held a man down with the officers on top of him although he said he could not breathe.

Thirty-year-old Robert Minjarez Jr. died five days after his arrest outside a gas station in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana last year.

The grand jury issued its decision on Wednesday. The officers’ names have not been released because grand jury proceedings are always secret.

The videos from a nearby store and from police car dashcams show at least three officers remained wholly or partly on top of Minjarez.

The man died because of “compressional asphyxia due to face-down physical restraint by law enforcement officers,” according to a report from the Lafayette Parish coroner.

The report says the suspect is heard in the audio pleading for help, saying “I can’t breathe.”

For about five minutes, the report said, Minjarez is heard on dashcam audio screaming, “Help! Help! Help me! Get off! You’re going to kill me!” The report also quotes him as saying “You’re going to suffocate…” and “I can’t breathe” three times.


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