HAYWARD (KPIX 5) – The family of a Hayward man who died in police custody in 2014 has released body camera video of the incident, as the family seeks changes in how such cases are handled.
The video, taken on May 23, 2014, shows 46-year-old James Greer being questioned by Hayward Police and BART Police for a possible DUI.
“The lieutenant told him he was being pulled over for driving goofy,” Deana Abello, Greer’s ex-wife, told KPIX 5.
In a few minutes, Greer is swarmed by officers and the field sobriety test goes sideways.
“The next thing you know, there is over 17 cops and he was wrestled to the ground, tased,” Abello said.
An officer is heard in the video telling Greer, “You need to stop resisting or you are going to be tased.”
Greer was held to the ground for minutes and police officers used a stun gun on him multiple times. The man died not long after.
“His lips were blue and discolored and they still continued to put the wrap on him with his head slumped over and unconscious,” Abello said. “And at that point, it took almost seven minutes before anybody tried to give him CPR.”
The coroner listed Greer’s cause of death as “PCP intoxication associated with physical exertion.”
Abello and Greer had two children and grandchildren together. She wants to see a change in the use of force and investigation policies surrounding in-custody deaths.
“In Alameda County, the District Attorney is not notified when someone is killed by police other than when it’s a shooting,” Abello said. “So we want to get that changed and to hold the police officers accountable for what they had done.”
Abello told KPIX 5 that it took her 18 months to bring herself to look at video of the incident and that she decided to release the video because of the spate of recent officer-involved deaths.
KPIX 5 reached out to both police departments involved in the case. Hayward Police said they are deferring comments to the city attorney’s office, due to the lawsuit. BART Police did not respond to requests for comment as of Monday night.