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The president of the NAACP is urging for a federal investigation into the death of Frank Tyson, a 53-year-old Black man who died after being restrained by officers from the Canton Police Department in Ohio. Tyson repeatedly told the officers “I can’t breathe” as they pinned him to the floor of a bar while he was handcuffed. The incident has drawn comparisons to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020, sparking concern and outrage. The NAACP is seeking justice and accountability for Tyson’s death, fearing that the officers involved may not be held responsible for their actions.

In a letter addressed to Kristen Clarke, the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department, the NAACP expressed deep concern over the tragic events that led to Tyson’s death. The call for a federal investigation comes amid protests and demands for police accountability in cases involving the deaths of unarmed Black individuals. The Justice Department, the Canton Police Department, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation have been called upon to look into the circumstances surrounding Tyson’s death, but have yet to respond to requests for comment.

A nearly 36-minute body camera video released by the police department shows officers apprehending Tyson at an AMVETS lodge after responding to a single-car crash nearby. Tyson refused to leave the bar and repeatedly expressed fear for his life, stating, “They are trying to kill me.” Officers Beau Schoenegge and Camden Burch, who joined the department in 2022, are the primary officers involved in the incident and have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The video shows Tyson being wrestled to the ground and handcuffed, with one officer placing a knee on his upper body, causing him to struggle to breathe.

Tyson’s pleas for help and his repeated statements that he could not breathe were reportedly disregarded by the officers, who continued to restrain him. The video shows Tyson lying motionless on the floor for several minutes before officers perform chest compressions and administer Narcan in an attempt to revive him. Despite these efforts, Tyson was pronounced dead at the hospital. The NAACP condemned the officers’ actions as a “callous disregard” for Tyson’s life and highlighted the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

The death of Frank Tyson serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing issue of police brutality and systemic racism in the United States. NAACP President Derrick Johnson emphasized that Tyson should be alive today and called for swift action to hold the officers involved accountable for their actions. The family’s attorney, Bobby DiCello, expressed the family’s awareness of the significance of the case and the painful memories it may evoke of George Floyd’s killing. The NAACP and Tyson’s family are demanding justice and transparency in the investigation to ensure that those responsible are held to account for their actions.

As the community mourns the loss of Frank Tyson and demands justice for his death, the NAACP continues to push for reform and accountability within law enforcement. The tragic incident underscores the need for meaningful changes to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. The NAACP’s call for a federal investigation reflects a growing recognition of the systemic issues that contribute to the disproportionate harm experienced by Black communities at the hands of law enforcement. It is imperative that the Justice Department and other authorities take swift and decisive action to address the circumstances surrounding Tyson’s death and ensure accountability for those responsible.

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