The release of new bodycam footage reopens 2017 death of Black man in police custody

When Muhammad Muhaymin, Jr. called out for 'Allah,' the officer can be heard saying, ‘He’s not going to help you now’

Muhammad Muhaymin Jr. (Family photo)

The 2017 police killing of Muhammad Muhaymin, Jr. of Phoenix is being re-examined after bodycam footage of his death has recently emerged. The man’s death bears uncanny similarities to the killing of George Floyd who was killed by police on Memorial Day this year. 

The man was detained by police three years ago on January 4, after he tried to take his emotional support dog into a public restroom at a community center. The manager of the center tried to stop him prompting an argument, and police were called. 

READ MORE: Colorado reopens case of Elijah McClain’s death in police custody

According to a CNN report, officers attempted to detain the man by kneeling on his head and neck, prompting him to cry out for help.

“Please Allah,” he says. 

“Allah? He’s not going to help you now,” one of the officers says as he tries to handcuff the man, “Just relax.” 

Officers continuously tell the man to “relax,” and “stop resisting.” 

Mahaymin struggles, and vomits, then goes limp. Just moments later an officer says, “Oh, He’s dead,” before turning off his camera. 

According to a local report from AZCentral.com, Mahaymin took his dog, Chiquita, everywhere that he went. The dog helped the man manage his mental illness symptoms. According to his sister, Tonya Davis, the man had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, acute claustrophobia, and schizophrenia. 

Despite the fact that the Phoenix Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide, none of the officers were ever charged. They all remain on the force. 

The family is suing the Phoenix Police Department for $10 million. Davis also said that police never told them what happened to Chiquita. “He loved that dog,” Davis said, “Once he got that dog, he wanted to take the dog. If he couldn’t take the dog, he didn’t go.” 

Activists have said that Mahayamin should have been able to take his emotional support animal into the restroom because according to the Arizona Center for Disability Law, a handler does not have to provide documentation that a dog is a service animal. 

READ MORE: Heartbreaking bodycam video shows 6-year-old girl being arrested at Orlando school

Police were attempting to arrest Mahayamin on an outstanding misdemeanor charge for possessing a marijuana pipe, a citation that had occurred in previous years when he was stopped for jaywalking. 

According to AZCentral, Muhaymin is one of 35 people who died in police custody in Maricopa County since 2017, a number that does not include fatal police shootings. 

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