An unarmed Central Florida man was killed by police during an altercation at a Publix Grocery store after a call to police saying the man appeared to be “very confused.”
West Melbourne police responded to the call from an employee requesting the man be removed from the store, but they ended up killing him, reported Orlando Sentinel.
Police bodycam video has not yet been released, but a witness was able to record the incident. Police are seen tasing Donald Edward Whitmer Jr., 45, as well as maintaining a chokehold after wrestling him to the floor.
Whitmer became unresponsive during the altercation and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The preliminary autopsy report says there was “no gross trauma” to the neck, just like when a NYPD officer killed Eric Garner, only to later find he was actually killed by “compression of neck” and “compression of chest.”
The Sentinel reported that the manager of the store called police about 10:40 a.m. to report a man who seemed to be “very confused,” the manager also speculated the man could be on drugs.
Whitmer left the store but returned later, so the manager called dispatchers again to request he be removed.
Officers Jacob Mathis and Kevin Krukoski came back to the store, and the altercation became physical after Whitmer did not obey, according to police.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reportedly investigating the incident.