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“You Shouldn’t Be Able to Breathe”: Video Shows TN Man Asphyxiated with Officers’ Knees on His Back

HeadlineMay 24, 2021

In Tennessee, a newly published video shows officers at the Marshall County Jail pressing a hogtied man into the floor with their knees on his back for nearly four minutes — and taunting him as he pleaded with officers that he could not breathe. Forty-eight-year-old William Jennette, who was white, died during the violent encounter. The Marshall County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Jennette’s death a homicide — a combination of drug intoxication and asphyxiation. Despite the ruling, a grand jury declined to indict any of the officers. The newly surfaced video shows Jennette shouted, “Help! They’re going to kill me!” as officers cursed at him, with one replying, “You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bastard.”

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