MORENO VALLEY (AP) — The family of a man who collapsed and died soon after sheriff’s deputies pulled him out of his car and handcuffed him wants an investigation into the actions of officers who are seen on a YouTube video of the encounter.
Raymond Johnson, 41, died Friday during the confrontation at a Burger King restaurant in Moreno Valley where witnesses said he had been acting erratically, throwing food and money out of his car.
A video posted on YouTube shows a handful of officers swarming Johnson’s car and two more arriving shortly after to join them.
The Riverside Sheriff’s Department says Johnson put up a struggle when they tried to remove him from the car after asking him several times to get out on his own. Soon after they handcuffed him, he collapsed, deputies said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The video, recorded by a passer-by, never shows Johnson himself, but deputies are seen struggling aggressively to open both the car’s driver-side and passenger-side doors and trying to pull someone out. At one point, they rock the car back and forth as the windshield wipers periodically go on and off.
They finally pull him out the passenger-side door, which blocks the camera angle.
The Sheriff’s Department has declined to comment on the video.
Johnson’s mother, Diania Rivas, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that her son had a criminal record that included drug dealing but that he was not a violent person.
“He would not fight a cop ever because he had too many run-ins with them,” she said, adding he’d just been released from prison in August.
His widow, Lawanda Johnson, told KABC-TV she wants an investigation.
“My biggest question is what happened? I stand here today a widow with no answers,” she said.
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