The Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office announced on March 28, 2021, that it had opened an investigation to determine if excessive force caused a woman’s death while in the custody of local police officers on Saturday, March 27.
Marco Antonio Tóh Euán, a spokesperson for the AG’s Office, stated its investigators have started interviewing the municipal police officers.
The Municipal Public Security Directorate of Tulum has not responded to the investigation reports. Moreover, they did not release the victim’s identity.
Witness/Videographer’s Twitter Post
In videos posted on Twitter, a handcuffed woman was lying on her stomach on the road next to a police vehicle. She is seen struggling against two officers holding her down — one appears to be kneeling on the victim’s back.
A third cop is standing, leaning on the vehicle near the unidentified woman’s feet. The fourth officer appears to walk in front of the person videotaping the encounter; he blocked the view of the officers who were subduing the victim.
Onlookers are heard saying the woman was no longer moving when the officers move her to another municipal vehicle.
Spanish Media’s Details of Police Manhandling Woman
While on patrol, municipal officers approached a woman walking along the avenue on the pretense that she appeared intoxicated. At least four officers — three men and one woman — forcefully threw her to the ground.
Within a few minutes, she began screaming that it was not easy to breathe because of her weight. As soon as police noticed she was no longer moving, the officers seemed to realize the victim was no longer breathing.
Instead of calling for ambulance transport, she was transported to a local medical facility for assessment.
Other police officers did nothing to stop the assault, reports Ben Oakley for Globe Live Media. Even though witnesses did not intervene, they videotaped the event from various perspectives.
Presumably, the cause of death is suffocation from the officer’s knee obstructing her ability to breathe, writes Oakley.
El Universal: Woman dies while being subdued by police in Tulum, Quintana Roo; by Adriana Varillas (Google Translation)
Globe Live Media: Police brutality: Woman was subdued and died of suffocation in Tulum, Quintana Roo; by Ben Oakley (Google Translation)
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Michael Rael’s Flickr – Creative Commons License