Authorities in Arizona released body camera video showing the death of Ramon Timothy Lopez, a man who died in police custody after being held on the blazing hot asphalt for several minutes. According to NBC, the cause of death has not officially been determined. The Phoenix police department is now reportedly conducting multiple investigations into the incident.
Per NBC, additional surveillance video also released by the department shows Lopez wandering around a strip mall parking lot on the morning of Aug. 4. Audio from a 911 call says Lopez “was sticking out his tongue, grabbing himself, and looking at people's cars.”
"He's acting kind of funny," the caller reportedly said.
Footage shows Lopez, a father of two, running into a nearby convenience store after police arrive. Police are claiming Lopez stole a drink and threw it at one of the officers. After running from the store, Lopez tumbles onto the ground and police begin to restrain him. In the video, one officer repeatedly asks Lopez to get on his stomach.
At least one officer kneels on top of Lopez, while others hold him down for about six minutes. Another officer notes Lopez’s left arm may have “snapped,” and one calls in "code 237,” assuming he had been under the influence of illegal drugs. During this exchange, Lopez is heard groaning. Eventually, he's on his stomach in handcuffs, where he remains for several minutes.
The asphalt on which Lopez was detained was scorching. Arizona in August frequently reaches 100+ degree days, and according to the National Weather Service, blacktop in direct sunlight can top the temperature by more than 60 degrees.
After the arrest, Lopez was unresponsive in the officers' car. The body camera footage shows authorities telling Lopez to wake up and pouring water on him.
Lopez was pronounced dead upon his arrival to the hospital, according to police spokeswoman Mercedes Fortune.
David Gonzales, Lopez’s brother, told KNXV-TV of Phoenix that "nobody's perfect, but he didn't deserve any of that."
"They were on top of him with all their weight on the hot asphalt," Gonzales said. "Who wouldn't be fighting? He was fighting for his life, and he lost."
The officers connected with Lopez’s death have not been identified.
Evangelina Rodriguez, Lopez’s girlfriend and mother of his children, pushed the police department to release the body camera footage. “I just feel like they could’ve done something, and I just feel like they cheated my kids of their dad,” Rodriguez told KNXV-TV. Rodriguez said her boyfriend had no drugs or weapons on him at the time of his arrest.
Rodriguez told reporters that Lopez “always said that the cops are going to kill me.”