According to images and transcripts made public by authorities Monday, a homeless man drowned in America in front of police officers who refused to intervene.
The agents were called on May 28th at dawn near Tempe's artificial lake, Arizona. They were responding to a "ruckus" between a couple. They first questioned Sean Bickings' 34-year-old companion before moving to the "homeless" latter to ask him questions.
I'm going to drown. I'm going to drown
After a while, Sean Bickings reaches the water's surface by stepping over the railing. Although he was told by agents that he cannot swim in the lake, the 30-year-old continues to swim towards an area below a bridge.
The images are then cut off, and the city judges the rest of it too "sensitive". After that, the transcription of any comments is provided.
"What are your plans now?" Agent: "What are you going to do now?" "I am going to drown. According to the transcript, Sean Bickings says that he is going to drown. The agent replies, "No, no," The second officer asks the man in trouble to swim to the bridge's pylon and hold on. Sean Bickings says, "I can't. I can't." "Okay, I won't jump after you," said the second agent.
The transcript shows that the officers insist on the homeless man being left alone, and reject his attempts to ask for help.
"You hear me? Sean Bickings' last words were: One of the officers later noted that Sean Bickings "hasn’t surfaced for approximately 30 seconds". His body will be retrieved at the end the morning.
According to the city, the three officers were suspended while the results of multiple investigations are analyzed. The city also announced that it will make public images from the pedestrian cameras of other officers within the next few days.