Sean Bickings Tempe Arizona man drowns as 3 cops refuse to jump in and save man pleading for his life after cops responded to domestic disturbance.
‘I’m not jumping in after you…’ Three Tempe, Arizona police officers have been put on ‘non-disciplinary paid administrative leave‘ following the drowning death of a local ‘black’ man, who officers allegedly refused to rescue despite him ‘pleading for help’.
Newly released bodycam footage and a transcript of the incident show Sean Bickings, 34, jumping into Tempe Town Lake on May 28 after a reported domestic violence disturbance with his wife.
Bickings is seen getting into the water after officers arrived on the scene at 5am following reports of a physical altercation, which the couple denied.
While checking if the couple had any outstanding arrest warrants, Bickings climbed over a four-foot fence and jumped in the water.
He is heard saying: ‘I’m going to go for a swim. I’m free to go, right?’
The cops told the 34-year-old he was not allowed to enter the lake while standing on the other side of the fence, as he leaped in.
He is seen swimming away from the shore while one officer is heard saying: ‘How far do you think he is going to be able to swim?’
Transcript of edited bodycam video recounts Bickings desperately appealing for help from the officers.
Cries out the desperate man: ‘I’m drowning.’
One officer then replied: ‘Come back over to the pylon.’
Bickings said: ‘I can’t, I can’t.’
The other officer then said: ‘OK, I’m not jumping in after you.’
The interaction where the Tempe police threaten to detain Sean Bickings’ wife, telling her to “chill out.”
She recognizes one of the cops, who has harassed them before: “You are the one that was aggressive with me when you arrested me last time.”https://t.co/QjokLxinWf pic.twitter.com/BzQUyDJIcD
— AZ Right Wing Watch (@az_rww) June 5, 2022
‘Oh God, Please help me. Help me.’
He begged: ‘Please help me. Please, please, please. I can’t touch. Oh God, Please help me. Help me.’
Bickings’ wife who was still on the scene also pleaded with officers to intervene, saying: ‘I’m just distraught because he’s drowning right in front of you and you won’t help.’
The transcript claims one of the officers then threatened to put her in his police car unless she calmed down.
One officer reportedly tried to get a boat to rescue Bickings but it was too late with the struggling man dropping below the surface of the water.
Bickings’ body was not recovered until 11.20am.
Andy Anderson, a former assistant chief with Phoenix Police, told 12News, ‘This is not a lake patrol team that has the equipment to do a water rescue, these are street cops.’
City Manager Andrew Ching and Police Chief Jeff Glover described the man’s drowning death as a ‘tragedy.’