The Denver Police Department has released body-worn-camera video footage of the arrest of James Hutchinson, a 36-year-old man who stopped breathing shortly after being handcuffed. Hutchinson had called 911, expressing concerns about a possible heart attack. The incident occurred on November 15, and Hutchinson was pronounced dead at Denver Health on November 16. The cause of death is currently under investigation by the medical examiner’s office.
According to Cmdr. Matt Clark, Hutchinson was agitated and noncompliant when paramedics arrived at the scene. He left the ambulance and was later seen throwing a rock at a nearby building. Police were called to respond, and an officer instructed Hutchinson to keep his hands up. However, Hutchinson ran away, and the officer did not pursue him.
At another location, security guards reported that Hutchinson had broken a window and forced his way into a building. They had wrestled him to the ground, and one guard hit Hutchinson due to him biting. When officers arrived, they found two security guards holding Hutchinson on the ground. The body camera footage shows an officer kneeling on Hutchinson’s back to restrain him while he was handcuffed. After being rolled onto his side, officers attempted to rouse Hutchinson and performed CPR when they were unable to feel his pulse. Naloxone, used to treat opioid overdoses, was also administered.
Cmdr. Clark stated that the three officers involved in the arrest did not strike Hutchinson or use any “less-lethal systems.” The incident is currently under investigation.