(ANSA) – NEW YORK, JUN 07 – A homeless man drowned in an Arizona lake under the eyes of two agents who did not intervene to save him. The victim was identified as Sean Bickings, 34. The tragedy took place in Tempe Town Lake.
The three officers present at the scene have been suspended. According to initial reports, the police intervened in a dispute between Bickings and a woman. While the agents were checking the identity of the two, Bickings climbed over a fence and jumped into the water. He started swimming but after a few meters he found himself in trouble. “I’m drowning, I’m drowning, help me please I can’t touch,” he pleaded before drowning. “Okay, I’m not going to throw myself in with you,” one of the officers replied, according to an audio transcript recorded by the agents’ body cameras and broadcast by the local police.
After about six hours, his body was pulled out of the water. The local police union commented that officers are not trained in water rescue and are also not equipped to help drowning people. “Such a high-risk rescue attempt could result in the death of the person in the water and the agent who could be pulled underwater by the person in distress,” a statement read. Officers are trained to call firefighters or call in a Temple police boat. This is what has been done here “. (ANSA).
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