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Jawan Dallas said he did not want to be the next George Floyd before dying

“I do not want to be the next George Floyd.” These were the words Jawan Dallas reportedly said before dying on July 2.

“I do not want to be the next George Floyd.” These were the words Jawan Dallas reportedly said before dying on July 2, after being tased and beaten by Mobile police officers, according to body cam footage viewed by his family over four months later.

A press conference followed the family’s viewing of the footage. Attorney Henry Daniels described the incident as one of the worst police killings he had seen, comparing it to George Floyd’s case.

The officers, responding to a burglary call, mistakenly identified Jawan and a friend, who were sitting in a car, as suspects. While Jawan’s friend presented ID, Jawan, questioning the police’s actions, did not immediately produce his. The situation escalated, leading to Jawan being tackled, tased multiple times, and handcuffed.

As Jawan complained of breathing difficulties and referenced George Floyd, an officer allegedly told him to “shut the f*ck up.” A Black officer later tried to make Jawan comfortable before he was placed in a squad car, where Jawan continued to express distress. EMTs arrived about 15-20 minutes later, but their response was described as “disrespectful” and “unprofessional.”

After receiving medical attention, Jawan fainted and never regained consciousness. “He died right there on the scene,” Daniels said.

Jawan’s stepfather, Phil Williams, condemned the Mobile Police Department, expressing his grief and frustration. The family viewed the footage days after a grand jury decided not to indict the involved officers, a decision that does not determine their guilt or innocence.

District Attorney Keith Blackwood attributed Jawan’s death to underlying health conditions and drug use, exacerbated by the police encounter. Daniels countered, insisting the officers’ actions contributed to the death, equating it to criminal negligence.

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The incident follows several high-profile cases of Black individuals dying in police encounters, often without indictments. The viewing also came a week after Mobile police fatally shot a 16-year-old during a marijuana warrant raid.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson acknowledged the tragedy but emphasized that the body camera footage was just one part of the evidence. He mentioned ongoing investigations and potential civil action, hence refraining from further comment.

Daniels announced plans for a civil lawsuit, urging the Mobile Police Department to release the video for transparency. Williams vowed to seek justice for Jawan, stating, “We’re going to stay in your face. We’re gonna get justice for Jay.”

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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