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Demanding Answers About Man Who Died in Dallas Jail

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DALLAS —We now know more about the man who lost his life in a Dallas County Jail lobby over the weekend. His name is Joseph Hutcheson. Officials say he ran inside the jail screaming his wife was trying to kill him, so officers calmed him down. Then, he stopped breathing.

A witness who’d rather not be named said the story went a little differently.

“Then, [the deputies] grabbed him and put him in a choke hold. [They] were holding him. He was saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’ Everyone was yelling for them to let him go. They were going to kill him. He said, ‘I can’t breathe.’ He pissed himself. They released him, and he was laying there, dead on the ground.”

Now folks from the community are speaking out.

“We are hearing a common phrase coming from city after city in this country -- I can’t breathe,” The Hope for Peace & Justice Executive Director Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood said at a press event outside the Lew Sterrett Jail Monday.

“We want full transparency,” Next Generation Action Network President Min. Dominique Alexander added.

“We are a community that knows, although police brutality affects minorities at a higher rate, we know that no one is safe. Mr. Hutcheson, a white man in Dallas, Texas, came into a justice center and ended up dead,” Hood said. “How does someone come into a justice center seeking help and end up dead? We need answers.”

Hutcheson had just been released from jail back on July 19th. Officials say he had been in jail since February 2014 on charges of public intoxication and evading arrest.

“They released his background,” Alexander said. “We don’t care about his background. His background wasn’t what he came here for help. Every time somebody dies, or at the hands of them, they want to discredit them.”

Police have yet to release video of the incident.

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