A Bronx woman is seeking answers after her husband died in police custody.
Angelique Negroni-Kearse found herself stunned with grief last May after watching a police dashcam video of her husband’s final moments.
“It was the most horrendous thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Negroni-Kearse told the New York Daily News on Wednesday. “To see death on his face — it was horrible. To see him die is just horrible. Pleading and begging for his life … just begging for his life, and the officers just ignored him.”
Andrew Kearse, 40, repeatedly begged for help as a Schenectady police officer brushed him off and refused to provide assistance.
“I can’t breathe,” he can be heard gasping all throughout the audio.
One can’t help but note that this is the exact same phrase used by police chokehold victim Eric Garner before his death in July 2014 on Staten Island.
Negroni-Kearse taped the audio while watching footage in the office of upstate prosecutors investigating the case with the New York State Police. She is now making it public to send a message.
“I want justice for Andrew and I want that cop to go to jail,” she explains. “You can hear my husband in distress. He was in the backseat, handuffed, gasping for air.”
Kearse, who was on parole for grand larceny at the time of his arrest, fled on foot after police pulled him over for driving erratically. But when he had problems breathing after being taken into custody, he was mocked.
“Is it hot?” one of the cops inquired. “You probably shouldn’t run next time.”
Kearse later died in an upstate hospital.
In November, his widow filed a notice of claim announcing her intention to file a $25 million lawsuit against the upstate police. The court papers charged that the father of nine died despite his “repeated and numerous complaints of difficulty breathing and dizzines,” and the evidence backs up this claim.
The couple had been married a decade before his untimely death.