A Mississippi man died Saturday night, prompting an investigation into the Desoto County Sheriff’s office’s methods of detaining him.
Troy Goode, 30, died hours after being arrested at a shopping center in Southaven, Miss., at about 7:45 p.m. Witnesses say multiple officers held Goode down and hogtied him. Paramedics later strapped him to a stretcher facedown and took him to Baptist Memorial Hospital, they said.
“His body was writhing. At that point, I was very concerned with his safety.”
Earlier that day, Goode was at the Widespread Panic concert at Snowden Grove Amphitheater with a group of friends when his wife decided to drive him home. At some point, he got out of the car while allegedly intoxicated. That’s when a bystander called the police. The hospital reported Goode’s condition as stable at around 9 p.m., according to attorneys for the Goode family. Family members were allegedly told they would be arrested for obstruction of justice if they showed up to check on him.
Around an hour later, at approximately 9:59 p.m., a hospital employee called Goode’s wife and told her that he was dead.
The South Police Department confirmed officers responded to a call at roughly 7:45 p.m. concerning a fight between a man and woman at a Southaven shopping center.
“It sounds like the police showed up in force with multiple units,” Kevin McCormack, an attorney for the Goode family, told the Daily Dot on Monday. “Troy was held down, he was restrained and hogtied. His hands and his legs were both behind his back and they were connected together. He was then put on a stretcher when the paramedics arrived and his head was strapped down to the stretcher face down while he was still hogtied.”
“At this point, we are awaiting the results of the autopsy to determine what course of legal action we’re going to take,” McCormack said. “We are requesting that there be an investigation.”
McCormack added that he’s “concerned with the amount of force used in Troy’s arrest and troubled by the police officers’ conduct toward his family and the public.”
McCormack’s law firm, Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, is calling on the Mississippi Attorney General conduct an investigation into Goode’s death. They are also asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the use of force by the Southaven Police Department.
David A. McLaughlin, a Memphis-based attorney, told the Daily Dot Monday he witnessed Goode’s arrest.
“I had been out there earlier and I saw one officer on [Goode’s] back—I was concerned that there was nobody else either helping that officer or monitoring Mr. Goode for respiration,” said McLaughlin, who has previously worked with lawsuits involving positional asphyxiation. “I was worried about what they were doing with him.”
“Mr. Goode was convulsing, or fighting against his restraints, and I don’t know why, but it was clearly—I said on the video it looks like he’s claustrophobic, that’s the only way I could describe it,” added McLaughlin “His body was writhing. At that point, I was very concerned with his safety.”
McLaughlin’s son shot video near the scene and uploaded it to YouTube Monday. In the video, bystanders clearly discuss how Goode was hogtied.
On Monday, Southaven police told local news channel that Goode may have taken LSD before the concert, but were still awaiting a toxicology report. McLaughlin says he spoke to a fire department official at the scene who told him Goode was on LSD. “I asked him what his source was on that and he didn’t have one,” McLaughlin says.
Lt. Mark Little, the Southaven officer in charge of the Goode case, did not respond to multiple calls from the Daily Dot on Monday.
A donation page, created by fans of Widespread Panic, the rock group Goode and wife went to see in concert on Saturday, had raised over $11,675 for his wife and 15-month-old son by Monday. More than 300 people have donated so far.
Photo via Kelly Goode. Used with permission.