Two police officers from Vineland, New Jersey, are being investigated after Philip White, a 32-year-old black man, died in custody following an attack by a police dog.
In recently-obtained cell phone video showing the March 31 arrest, White can be seen on the ground as police officers instruct the dog to “get ‘em.”
“He’s knocked out!” the man recording the arrest can be heard shouting on the video. “He’s not even moving! Get that dog off of him!”
After the video ends, White appeared to be in respiratory distress, according to a press release by the Cumberland County Prosecutor. He was handcuffed, restrained, and placed in an emergency vehicle accompanied by an officer, but died en route to the hospital.
While it is not clear from the video what took place prior to White’s arrest, Vineland police say they responded to a call for service for a “disorderly person,” the prosecutor’s office said. In a 911 recording released Tuesday, a caller can be heard telling the dispatcher that White is “freaking out,” “going crazy,” and “screaming,” according to NBC Philadelphia. An autopsy is pending.
“There are great concerns about the circumstances that surround this death,” said Conrad Benedetto, an attorney for the White family, in a statement last week. “The public and Mr. White’s family deserve answers as to how Phillip was killed and why there is a lack of oversight of local police.”
Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti said that White reached for an officer’s gun before the camera started rolling, NBC Philadelphia reported, and that two of the officers involved had been placed on administrative leave.