Officer

Cell Phone Video Shows Man's Final Moments Before Dying in Police Custody

Cell phone video captured some of the final moments of the life of a Vineland, New Jersey man, who died while in police custody Tuesday.

The grainy footage shows 32-year-old Phillip White on the ground shortly after Vineland Police officers responded to reports of a disorderly person on 100 block of Grape Street in Vineland Tuesday morning.

A person can be heard yelling, "I got it all on camera," moments before a uniformed officer approaches the man holding the cell phone and says "... I need your information. I'm going to take your phone."

The Cumberland County Prosecutor said the video, which runs for 76 seconds, is part of an investigation into what transpired between the moments the officers arrived at the scene and White’s transport to the hospital.

Vineland Police declined to comment on the recording.

White appeared to be in respiratory distress during the incident so officers called for medical assistance and he was taken to a local hospital, according to officials. At some point during the transport, White became unresponsive and medical personnel instituted CPR, according to investigators. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Witnesses told NBC10 responding officers were extremely physical with White after he was already restrained and unconscious on the street.  Several said officers punched, stomped and kicked him, and allowed a dog to bite him.

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In a police dispatch recording of the event, one officer can be heard saying, “Subject under…tried disarming me…tried to grab my gun.”

Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti offered his condolences to White’s family while urging the public to wait until all the facts surfaced before making their judgments.

Sources told NBC10 White had a violent run-in with police last year during an arrest for shoplifting. According to the sources, an officer suffered a serious shoulder injury after White assaulted him.

Anyone with information on any video recordings of the incident should call Sergeant Scott Collins (856-466-5127) or SAC E. Ronald Cuff (609-381-4890) of the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.

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