Three Arizona police officers are on administrative leave after public outcry over accusations they let a man drown.
Bodycam footage has gone viral as commenters give their thoughts on the situation.
According to officials, the officers refused to save the man.
The situation began when police were called for a possible domestic incident near Tempe Town Lake at the end of May. The officers questioned Sean Bickings and his wife, who both denied any fighting took place.
After speaking with the couple, the officers went to check for warrants for Bickings, who took the opportunity to try and leave.
“I’m going to go for a swim. I’m free to go, right?”
An officer told Bickings that while he wasn’t being detained, he wasn’t allowed to swim in the lake. Bickings climbed over the 4 foot fence and got into the lake.
Two minutes later, he was calling for help.
The video shows Bickings begging for his life.
“I’m going to drown. I’m going to drown.”
The officers refused to jump in after Bickings.
In the footage, as Bickings called for help, his wife is begging the officers to save him.
“He’s everything I got. I can’t lose him, he’s going to die.”
As the officers refused to rescue Bickings, her pleas became more intense.
“I’m just distraught because he’s drowning right in front of you and you won’t help him.”
“I’m so tired of not being heard all the time. This very upsetting. I can’t even finish a sentence.”
“He’s f**king a good man.”
The bodycam footage is edited to cut off before showing Bickings death out of respect for his family. Arizona’s Department of Public Safety and Scottsdale Police Department are investigating the response from the officers.
In the meantime, the officers involved have been placed on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave.
The Tempe Officers Association, the police union, defended the actions of the officers saying they weren’t trained in water rescue.
“Attempting such a high-risk rescue could easily result in the death of the person in the water and the officer, who could be pulled down by a struggling adult.”
Additionally, it’s been argued the officers’ gear would prevent their ability to swim.
These excuses didn’t sit well with the public.
The police union assured it will work with the police department for additional training to try and prevent situations like this from happening again.