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Video of Man’s Death in LAPD Custody Surfaces After 4 Years

HeadlineAug 19, 2016

In Los Angeles, video has emerged of police choking 56-year-old African-American man Vachel Howard shortly before he died. The department has suppressed the release of the video. Howard died in an LAPD jail in 2012. The video shows the grandfather of seven handcuffed to a bench after having been strip-searched. Howard was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The video does not show how the altercation between Howard and officers began, but does show six officers pinning Howard to the ground before he died. It also shows them laughing as he lay motionless on the ground before medical help arrives. A coroner listed three causes of death for Howard: cocaine intoxication, heart disease and the chokehold used by officer Juan Romero. Romero was suspended for 22 days, but prosecutors decided not to press charges against him. In 2015, the city of Los Angeles agreed to pay Howard’s family nearly $3 million to settle a wrongful death claim.

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