Body cam footage was released this Thursday showing an Ohio police officer shoving snow into the face of a Black man who was being detained. At one point during the ordeal, the man tells the officers that he can't breathe.
John Turnure, who worked for the Akron Police Department since 2009, voluntarily resigned on March 31 while an investigation into the incident was underway, Cleveland.com reports.
Acting Chief Mike Caprez said at a news conference Thursday that shoving snow in a suspect's face is "not taught or trained by our staff."
"Mr. Hicks displayed behavior that would lead a reasonable officer to believe he was in an altered state of mind," Caprez said. "The Akron police officers in this situation had a duty to protect the victim of this domestic violence incident and were carrying out that duty when this incident occurred."
Caprez said that the suspect, 26-year-old Charles Hicks, has "significant musculature" and because of his "level of fitness" and his resistance to arrest, multiple officers had to pin him to the ground. While he was being held to the ground, Turnure could be seen grabbing a handful of snow and shoving it into the face and mouth of Hicks while restraining his head. Hicks is heard in the video saying, "I can't breathe," before officers flip him over.
Hicks and his lawyer are considering legal action against the city and allege that Turnure put his knee on Hicks' neck – an allegation the city "strongly refutes."
"The officer's shin is the part of the leg most likely in contact with Mr. Hicks' pectoral and deltoid area," Caprez said. "As mentioned earlier, pinning the shoulder in this manner using body weight is a trained and approved tactic which facilitates control of the subject without potential for injury. Evidence of a knee on Mr. Hicks' neck is not apparent."
Watch the video below: