Man Dies in Police Custody at Dallas Hospital After Being Denied Water and Restrained

A man, identified as Kenneth Knotts, tragically died in police custody at a Dallas hospital after being denied water and restrained by multiple hospital cops. The incident, captured on bodycam footage, was ruled a homicide and has raised concerns about the excessive use of force by law enforcement officers.

The events leading up to Knotts’ death began when he was taken by police for a mental health evaluation at UT Southwestern Medical Center following a traffic stop on November 29, 2022. Family lawyer Geoff Henley expressed his dismay, stating that while Knotts was in mental distress, his death could have been prevented without resorting to lethal force.

The released footage, obtained by Henley through a third-party subpoena, revealed the distressing moments leading to Knotts’ demise. As at least three officers from the UT Southwestern Medical Center Police Department restrained him, Knotts can be heard pleading for help, gasping for breath, and uttering the haunting words, “I can’t breathe.” Shortly after, a medical staffer realized Knotts had no pulse, indicating the severity of the situation.

The hospital, which had not previously disclosed the incident, declined to release the footage or identify the officers involved. However, the medical examiner, upon reviewing the footage, determined that Knotts died of sudden cardiac arrest due to being restrained in a “semi-prone position,” classifying it as a homicide. Previously, officials had stated that the cause of death could not be determined.

Prior to the incident, Knotts had been traveling with his girlfriend and two young sons when their car experienced a tire blowout near Dallas. During the encounter with responding officers, Knotts exhibited erratic behavior, claiming that Austin police were attempting to kill him. He was subsequently taken to the hospital for evaluation, where he complained about the tightness of his handcuffs and expressed fear for his life.

The footage showed Knotts repeatedly requesting water and orange juice, which were denied by hospital staff who deemed him uncooperative. As the situation escalated, Knotts managed to drink water from a faucet while handcuffed, only to be placed back on the bed by officers. Despite his pleas for water, the officers continued to restrain him, causing him to exclaim, “I can’t breathe!”

Tragically, Knotts fell silent and became unresponsive as officers pressed down on his back and limbs. Medical staff present in the room realized the severity of the situation when they discovered he had stopped breathing. Attorney Geoff Henley argued that the footage clearly demonstrated that Knotts was in good physical health until the officers restricted his ability to breathe.

Last year, Henley announced his intention to file a lawsuit against the hospital, firmly believing that the UT Southwestern Police Department was responsible for Knotts’ death. Knotts’ mother, Jocelyn Knotts, expressed her frustration at the lack of answers surrounding her son’s untimely demise.

In November, a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict any of the hospital cops or medical workers involved in the incident, further fueling the controversy surrounding the case.

Author: CrimeDoor

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