Salt Lake City police handcuffed an unconscious shoplifting suspect, then spent 2 1/2 minutes performing CPR before paramedics took over, newly released body camera footage shows.
The video, released by police Friday, captured the minutes after Mischa Ryan Cox, 30, was tackled by employees and customers of the Ace Hardware at 612 E. 400 South in Salt Lake City on May 2. Cox was hospitalized, and his death was announced by police five days later.
According to Capt. Jeff Kendrick, police responded to a 911 call and officers arrived 8 minutes later, finding Cox unconscious on the asphalt of the parking lot. Police later reported that Cox was confronted by store employees, and tackled and detained by employees and customers.
Police have said no officers used force on Cox, and the body camera footage seems to support that.
The three videos released by police show an officer placing handcuffs on the unconscious Cox, then calling in to dispatchers to say the man was not breathing and had no pulse. Another officer begins CPR, as the first officer puts on latex gloves and then takes over. The second officer goes back to his patrol car, applies hand sanitizer and puts on his gloves, ready to assume CPR duties.
Emergency medical technicians arrive and take over about 2 1/2 minutes after CPR began. Kendrick said the handcuffs were removed when the EMTs started their work. Cox was transported to a hospital, and later died. Police have not announced a cause of death.
Because police placed handcuffs on Cox, the case is considered an “officer-involved critical incident” — the third Salt Lake City police have dealt with this year. Protocol for such incidents requires another police agency take over the investigation, and Unified Police are investigating Cox’s death. UPD will submit its findings to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
Kendrick said Cox had a limited criminal history that included driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and criminal trespass.
Police did not show any footage to reporters at a news conference Friday, and Kendrick cited department policy against showing medical treatment or death images. But the videos were handed over to reporters. Because of the graphic nature of the footage, The Salt Lake Tribune has opted not to post it online.