Bodycam video shows Pittsburg police applying chokehold before suspect's death

PITTSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- Bodycam video obtained by the East Bay Times shows a Pittsburg Police officer putting 32 year-old Humberto Martinez of Bay Point in a chokehold.

At one point, you can hear Martinez struggling to breathe.

The encounter was the result of a pursuit that began after police tried to pull over Martinez for expired tags. Martinez drove to a friend's house instead and ran into the garage.

Officers chased him into the kitchen and after a struggle, an officer ended up applying the chokehold.

"And from there it's just a life and death struggle where Humberto was struggling to breathe and they're insisting he not move while they choke him out and they killed him," said Michael Haddad, an attorney representing Martinez's family in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Officers tried to revive Martinez to no avail. A coroner's inquest jury found his death to be an accident, but friends who were at the house when it happened believe otherwise.

"That little bit of him dying and struggling to breathe? How could you not hear a man trying to breathe and you still keep on choking him and beating him?" said Sonya Serna, Martinez's friend.

A spokesman for Pittsburg Police declined to comment on camera, but in a written statement, Captain S. Albanese said the department believes the officers "acted lawfully, appropriately, and consistent with training and experience."
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