'I Can't Breathe; Help Me, Jesus': OKC Mother Responds After Watching Bodycam Video Of Son's In-Custody Death

Tuesday, June 9th 2020, 4:00 pm
By: Jennifer Pierce

A man died while in police custody in May 2019 and the release of the bodycam footage of the arrest was a demand made by Black Lives Matter OKC.

Derrick Scott, 41, died on May 20, 2019 after officers were called to a disturbance in southeast Oklahoma City.

All three officers involved in Scott's arrest were investigated by the department. The Oklahoma County District Attorney cleared them of any criminal misconduct.

But after watching the 86 minutes of body camera footage, Scott's family still had questions.

Related: Police Release Video Of Man Who Died Following His Arrest In 2019

The call started as a disturbance in the 1000 block of SE 44th Street. A citizen called 911.

Caller: “There’s a guy pulling a gun at the taco truck on 44th and High.”

When officers showed up and attempted to confront Scott, he ran across a parking lot. He was tackled to the ground and moments later, cried to the officers that he could not breathe.

Officer: “Stop resisting now!”

Scott: “I can’t breathe, help me Jesus. I can’t breathe. Oh God, I can’t breath.”

Vickey Scott said her son has asthma and was truly fighting to breath.

“To know that his inhaler was there and the officer threw it to the side,” said Vickey Scott. “And when he said he couldn’t breathe, he said he did not care.”

Vickey Scott and other family members watched the body camera footage on Monday for the first time. Scott said police never notified her of her son's death but learned of it on the Internet.

The department admitted notification protocols were not followed.

“I know the department is reviewing their notification procedures for next-of-kin,” said Oklahoma City police Capt. Larry Withrow. “Protocols we use now, those are under review.”

Vickey Scott said watching the video opened a wound that never healed. She was even more hurt when officers could be heard saying Derrick Scott was faking being unconscious.

“Even if you thought he did something wrong, he still did not deserve to die. He’s a human being,” Vickey Scott said. “That’s what everybody is protesting for, to be treated just normal. Not asking for anything extra, but to be treated like a normal human being.”

Police officials said officers used the restraint techniques they are taught in the academy and called for EMSA paramedics to the scene when Derrick Scott was in medical distress.