Watch: In disturbing video, homeless man in US drowns in lake as cops refuse to ‘jump’ to save him

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In a bizarre incident caught on police body camera, a 34-year-old homeless man can be seen drowning while three cops watched in Tempe Town Lake in the US state of Arizona, video shows and a transcript released Monday. . In the disturbing video, Sean Bickings, the man, walked into the lake ahead of officers on May 28. Bickings can be seen climbing the fence and slowly disappearing into the lake. The police can also be heard telling him that swimming is not allowed in the lake. But he still goes there under the Elmore pedestrian bridge. In the incident, several investigations were launched. Until the results come in, the officers have been suspended, according to a statement from the city of Tempe.

On the day of the incident, police responded to a “reported disturbance” between the man and his partner near the artificial lake, the statement said. In footage released by the city, officers can be seen talking to his partner.

Then the video stops. The city claimed the rest was too “sensitive”. And released the transcript, where one of the officers, asked the man, “So what’s your plan right now?”

“I’m going to drown. I’m going to drown,” Bickings said. “No, you’re not…go to the pylon and hold on,” another officer said. “I can’t. I can’t,” Bickings said. “Okay, I’m not rushing after you,” the second officer said.

Officers tell the homeless man to swim, according to the transcript. They also try to control her partner’s increasingly frantic behavior. “Can you hear me?” are Sean Bickings’ last words according to the transcript. Finally, a cop said Bickings “hasn’t surfaced in about 30 seconds.”

Later, his body was recovered. In a statement released Friday by the city, Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching and Police Chief Jeff Glover said Bickings’ death was a “tragedy.”


(With agency contributions)


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Post expires at 3:08pm on Friday June 17th, 2022

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