Video shows deputy’s husband using chokehold on man who later dies

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An attorney who received recorded video of a man killed after an “illegal chokehold” was used by a Harris County deputy’s husband in Houston during a confrontation said that video, released Monday, showed the chokehold being used on John Hernandez on May 28.

The deputy’s husband, identified by the Houston Chronicle as Terry Thompson, confronted Hernandez as he arrived at a restaurant with his children because Hernandez was allegedly urinating outside the restaurant. A fight broke out in which the deputy’s husband used the chokehold on Hernandez, and Hernandez died three days later after being taken to the hospital.

Attorney Jack Carroll said that the video was given to him by a concerned citizen who he is now representing and who wished to remain anonymous. The video showed the deputy’s husband lying on top of Hernandez and also showed people telling the person behind the camera to stop recording or risk arrest.

“You’re watching a man basically being killed,” Carroll said. “He was kicking his legs in a helpless fashion and you can hear him gurgling, just begging to stop. ‘Stop,’ (said) people in the background, family …”

The family’s attorney, Randall Kallinen, agreed, saying, “It appears to be manslaughter if not a murder, because it appears the guy has him in a chokehold and he chokes him, and he chokes him and eventually kills him.”

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has since released a statement concerning the video: “Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigators are aware of the cellphone video that was made public today. The investigation into the death of John Hernandez remains a high priority and will be referred to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for consideration in a timely manner.”