Charlie Sampson
YouTube Screenshot

A judge released disturbing video footage of El Centro, Calif., police refusing to provide medical help to a dying man, including telling a 911 dispatcher to ignore his family's calls for an ambulance, reports the Associated Press.

The 15-minute video was ordered released Thursday by a judge in a wrongful death suit filed by the family of the dead man, Charlie Sampson, 57. In releasing the footage, recorded Dec. 3, 2013, the judge cited public interest in police dealings with minorities and law enforcement's use of body cameras.

The incident begins after police pull Sampson over on suspicion of being a drug dealer and then place him in the back of a patrol car, the report says. While seated in the patrol car, Sampson can be observed "surreptitiously putting something in his mouth—methamphetamine, according to his family's attorney, who added that he might have taken the pill so police wouldn't find it," AP writes.

Footage shows police searching his home and questioning him "about where the drugs were," the report says. Meanwhile, "Sampson is shown barely able to stand, speaking unintelligibly, struggling to breathe, moaning and drenched in sweat, though he's outside in December and complaining of the cold."


Upon seeing Sampson's condition, family members pleaded with officers to help him, "saying he was clearly sick. One of them called 911."

But an officer called the 911 dispatcher back, telling her "to ignore any calls from the address," saying, "The guy we're out with right now is putting on somewhat of a show. If we need it, we'll advise."


Sampson died two hours later. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, where he was transported "by a police officer who ignored instructions to take Sampson to jail for booking on a charge of violating his probation by possessing a shotgun," according to the Sampson family's attorney, Christopher Morris.

Attorneys for El Centro and the city's police chief, Eddie Madueno, did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday.


Watch the video here:

Read more at the New York Daily News.