Another incident of “COPS OFF THE RAILS ” ?

Man ‘hogtied’ by Mississippi police dies as wife alleges threats over hospital visit

The family of a man who died after being “hogtied” by police in Southaven, Mississippi, say they were threatened with arrest after they requested to visit him in hospital before his death.

Troy Goode, a chemical engineer from Memphis, Tennessee, died on Saturday evening after Southaven police were called to a reported disturbance. Goode was arrested after “acting strange” and resisting officers, according to police. Goode and his wife, Kelli, had attended a rock concert in the city and the 30-year-old father had taken LSD, according to police.

Eyewitness video shows Goode was placed face-down on a stretcher with his arms and legs bound during the arrest, before he was placed in the back of an ambulance. He told officers he was having trouble breathing in this position, according to lawyers for the Goode family. He died in hospital about two hours later.

“The use of force was unnecessary. Troy was not a threat to anyone,” attorney Kevin McCormack, who represents the Goode family, told the Guardian. McCormack added that as a cause of death had yet to be established, the family were not yet calling for criminal charges against the officers.

According to the lawyer’s account, Kelli Goode had asked Southaven police officers if she could accompany her husband to the hospital but was told she would be arrested for obstruction of justice if she arrived at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, where her husband was taken.

McCormack says family members later called the hospital and were told again they would be arrested if they visited. It is unclear if police or hospital staff members made these comments, and neither responded to a request for comment by deadline.

“No mother and no wife should be prevented from doing that,” McCormack said. “They were obviously distraught. They didn’t know … what Troy’s condition was, they didn’t know if he was going to be OK.”

Within an hour of the second visitation request, the hospital called the family to confirm Goode had died.

Troy Goode with his son.
Troy Goode with his son. Photograph: Courtesy the Goode family

The eyewitness video was posted to YouTube by David McLaughlin, an attorney based in Memphis, and appears to show the aftermath of Goode’s arrest. He is surrounded by a large group of officers as he is wheeled to the ambulance on a stretcher.

“Video it Brady, just in case he dies,” says a voice off camera.

“He is really white,” says another voice, in reference to Goode.

“They’ve got him hogtied,” says another.

The video stops as officers point at the cameraperson. Bystanders were threatened with arrest for filming the incident, according to a statement issued by Goode’s lawyers.

The Supreme Court ruled that police can be videoed by the general public while performing their duty.. as long as it does not interfere with them doing their duty..

McLaughlin, who was eating dinner with his family at a nearby restaurant, later told local newspaper the Clarion-Ledger that he had initially looked out the window to see Goode talking to police before backing away from them in an erratic manner.

The lawyer then walked outside and saw Goode on the ground with an officer on his back. According to the newspaper’s account, McLaughlin then walked back inside the restaurant before returning outside to see Goode was at this point hogtied on the stretcher.

“Paramedics arrived on scene, and I see them put him in a four-point restraint or hogtie, I don’t know how else to describe it,” McLaughlin told the Clarion-Ledger. “His legs were crossed, pulled back, by my vantage point, his hands were pulled back, and I think affixed to at least one of his legs.

“He looked to me like he was struggling or convulsing or both. He appeared to be in distress to me.”

Goode’s is the second death in police custody to occur in Mississippi this month, according to The Counted, an ongoing investigation into officer-involved deaths in the United States.

Jonathan Sanders, a 39-year-old unarmed black man, died after reportedly being placed in a 20-minute chokehold by a Stonewall police officer. The medical examiner has provisionally ruled Sanders died of asphyxiation, according to attorneys.

Goode was the father to a 15-month-old son and worked as a plant engineer for nexAir, a local industrial supply company. He was also a local charity volunteer, according a statement from the family’s lawyers.

Asked by the Guardian if the family planned to launch any civil litigation over the case, McCormack responded: “All options remain on the table.”


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