Police in West Virginia were caught on video violently arresting a terminally ill man they believed to be drunkenly abusing his children, the Daily Dot reported.
The video shows officers pinning 39-year-old Jeffery Bane to the ground. According to the Morgantown Dominion Post, police in Westover believed Bane was “under the influence of narcotics” when they approached him and his two children on Sept. 6.
“The children appeared to be overheated,” a police complaint stated. “When asked about provisions that he had with him for the children, Bane struck the stroller violently with his hand, pushing it forward abruptly while his infant son was still seated inside.”
Bane was charged with battery on an officer, disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice. But his nephew, Josh Bane, said in a statement to the Free Thought Project that he actually suffers from Huntington’s Disease, which he described as being “very similar to Parkinson’s.”
“Assuming because of his appearance he was high on narcotics with out reason they began to sub due him, macing and beating him in the head as he fell to his face were he was then held with a great amount of force by two officers double his size as a third one landed on his torso,” the statement read. “For the the next ten minutes as my cousins watch unattended, my uncle pleads and cries out in pain for the lack of breath and agony being applied to him.”
According to the Huntington Disease Society of America, (HDSA) the disease, which is hereditary, triggers the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. There is currently no cure.
“As the disease progresses, concentration and short-term memory diminish and involuntary movements of the head, trunk and limbs increase,” the HDSA states on its website. “Walking, speaking and swallowing abilities deteriorate. Eventually the person is unable to care for him or herself. Death follows from complications such as choking, infection or heart failure.”
The video, filmed by a woman identifying herself as Sara Bostonia, shows Jeffery Bane lying on the ground and screaming as officers hold him down. Less than a minute into the clip, Bostonia can be heard yelling, “Stop it!” An officer can be heard speaking to her shortly after the remark.
“How are you involved with this guy?” he asks.
“I just was driving by,” she replies. “This is insane.” She then asks the officer to “go away.”
“I’m not doing anything wrong, either, and I’m on private property,” she adds. “My parents live a block away.”
Bostonia then accuses the officers of refusing to handcuff the suspect even though he is bleeding and gurgling.
“He is choking on his own blood,” she says. “I can hear it from my car.”
“Okay, but these aren’t your kids and you don’t know –” the officer says before Bostonia interrupts.
“No, I don’t,” she says. “But this is wrong.”
“If you want to continue filming, that’s okay,” the officer says. “If you continue to be loud and boisterous, I will arrest you for obstructing, okay?”
“Just leave me alone,” she replies.
Seconds later, Bostonia yells to the man that she is filming the arrest and phoned an ambulance on his behalf. The ambulance, however, does not appear during the nearly 10-minute long video.
Later in the video, an officer can be heard telling Bostonia twice to not yell toward them or they will “press the issue.”
Bane’s family has started an online campaign calling on police to drop the charges against him, which features an image of him bleeding while being held down.
Watch the video, as posted online, below.