'Let me breathe': Manitoba RCMP officer dismissed pleas while pinning man's neck in arrest, video shows

Manitoba's police watchdog says it will investigate a 2019 incident in which an RCMP officer held his knee on the neck of a man being arrested, who cried out "I can't breathe" repeatedly as he lay helpless for more than four minutes.

Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP, said they will examine the totality of events from that night, including the video, which she describes as "very disturbing." At one point, the officer is seen dismissing the pinned man's pleas because he could still speak, according to a video shot by the man's father.

The police force only learned about the incident this week after the Winnipeg Free Press reported on the suspect's trial, MacLatchy said.

The details of the arrest that have emerged have drawn comparisons to death of George Floyd, which came 11 months after the Manitoba incident. Floyd, who died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, gasped "I can't breathe" as he was killed.

The Winnipeg incident, outside the James Richardson International Airport on Aug. 1, 2019, was also captured on video by the father of Nathan Lasuik, the man who was pinned to the ground.

CBC News has received permission from Lasuik to publish it.


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