“I can’t breathe” – Cops refused to give him his asthma inhaler while he lay handcuffed and straddled; Clark-Reed was asthmatic, weighed 300 lbs.
Clark-Reed’s youthful friends recall happy memories as well
Family awaits results of wrongful death lawsuit
Community continues to organize to stop the violence, help their neighbors
Across U.S., crazed cops continue to kill, beat and harass Black men: Stephon Clark in Sacramento, Johnnie Rush in Asheville, N.C.
By Diane Bukowski
April 4, 2018
According to a lawsuit now in federal court, filed by Attorney Herbert Sanders, Detroit police officers Tracy Moreno, Robin Carver, and Eric Carthan illegally stopped Clark-Reed, who had severe asthma and weighed 300 lbs., as he drove down Vernor Avenue.
“Defendant Moreno then forcefully pulled Mr. Clark-Reed out of the vehicle, slamming him onto the ground,” the suit says. “While on the ground, Moreno straddled Mr. Clark-Reed and then handcuffed him. As a result of being forced to the ground . . .Mr. Clark-Reed began to struggle to breathe.”
The three officers then pulled Clark-Reed up to walk him to their squad car, while he was still having trouble breathing.
“While gasping for air, Mr. Clark-Reed asked that the officers provide him with the inhaler from his vehicle,” the suit continues. “Thereafter, Mr. Clark-Reed collapsed to the ground and died while in the custody of the Defendant officers.”
The officers claimed at the time that they did get the inhaler to Clark-Reed, but that it didn’t work. Numerous officers were seen at Clark-Reed’s car after his death, going over it with a fine-tooth comb looking for any sort of weapon or drugs. None were found.
One cop claimed at the time that Clark-Reed died from swallowing drugs, but the medical examiner found nothing of the sort in his system, and ruled that he had died from an asthma attack.
Officer Carthan was promoted to the rank of Corporal in 2017, according to the DPD website. Officer Carver was sued at least once more in front of Eastern District Court Judge Avern Cohn in 2015 by a defendant who was also stopped on the southwest side, which police said was a “high crime area.”
According to a document in the suit, Carver claimed he saw the defendant with a gun and gave chase. The defendant denied ever possessing a gun and said he did not fit the description of the individual police were pursuing.
Pastor Clark told the weeping crowd that Detroit police did not give any information on their son’s death to him or Clark-Reed’s mother Leda Reed until late the following day.
But there was hope for the future of this poor southwest Detroit community, among those who spoke of organizing their neighbors to build a better life for their children and grandchildren. They area of the southwest side that Rev. Clark ministers to is very multi-national; it includes many Black and white families as well as Mexican-Americans.
Among them was Elizabeth Valdez, whose organization, founded in 2011, sponsors “Stop the Violence” campaigns including counseling sessions, community-based patrols of the neighborhoods, and provision of food and other necessities for families and homeless people. She said they have networks all over Detroit and outside of Detroit, and invited those present to join them.
After the memorial service in the church, participants gathered outside to release blue, white and green balloons into the sky and hold a candlelight vigil. VOD was not able to stay to cover this part. However, a photo of the vigil held three years ago on April 1, 2015, which involved dozens of youth from the community, is below.
Across the nation including Detroit, brutal killings, beatings and harassment by police continue despite the years pf massive protests by the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups.
Stephon Clark, 22, a father of two, was slaughtered by Sacramento police last week, sustaining multiple gunshots, most in his back, inside the home where he lived with his grandparents.
And in the last couple of days a shocking video has surfaced showing white cops beating and choking a young Black man, Johnnie Rush, N.C. nearly to death last year, as he yelled, “I can’t breathe,” has surfaced. He told the cops he was only going home from work. His crime? Jaywalking.