A video obtained by News Channel 5 Nashville shows the final moments of William Jennette, a Tennessee father of five, as law enforcement officers piled on top of him. Now his daughter is suing the city of Lewisburg, the county, and several involved officers. Jennette died in police custody in May 2020 after being wrestled to the ground and knelt on by correctional officers, after refusing to get into a restraint chair. The disturbing footage shows the 48-year-old Jennette, who jail logs reviewed by the news outlet say was “detoxing” and “hallucinating” after his arrest two days earlier, repeatedly saying he can’t breathe and making choking noises as he is dogpiled on by police officers and Marshall County jailers. At one point, a female officer can be heard to respond, “You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bastard.”
According to the autopsy report, Jennette’s death was a homicide, with asphyxiation a “contributing cause of death.” The coroner noted that Jennette also had multiple fractured ribs. A grand jury has already declined to bring criminal charges against the officers. “It just feels like my heart is constantly being ripped out of my chest, and there’s no peace to that,” daughter Dominique Jennette told the outlet.