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Mon Jun 6, 2022, 08:00 AM

Man drowns as Arizona police watch: 'I'm not jumping in after you'

MORNING MIX

Man drowns as Arizona police watch: ‘I’m not jumping in after you’

By Julian Mark
June 6, 2022 at 7:31 a.m. EDT



Sean Bickings, right, drowned in the Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Ariz., after police did not jump in to rescue him, officials said. (City of Tempe )

Sean Bickings pleaded for help as he struggled to stay afloat in a reservoir in Tempe, Ariz., late last month. But Tempe police officers watched without intervening as Bickings went underwater and did not come back up, according to city officials and a transcript of body-camera footage.

“I’m going to drown. I’m going to drown,” said Bickings, 34, according to a transcript of video from the May 28 incident released by city officials. ... “Okay, I’m not jumping in after you,” an officer, identified as Officer 1 in the transcript, said moments later, after directing Bickings to grab onto a bridge.

“Please help me,” Bickings said. “Please, please, please.” ... Soon after, Bickings drowned, according to a Friday news release by city officials.

Now, three Tempe police officers have been put on “non-disciplinary paid administrative leave” as the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Scottsdale Police Department investigate the officers’ response at the City of Tempe’s request, city officials said. The city has not released the names of the officers.

{snip}

By Julian Mark
Julian Mark is a reporter on The Washington Post's Morning Mix team. Before joining The Post, he covered housing and policing for Mission Local in San Francisco. Twitter https://twitter.com/badjujusf

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Reply Man drowns as Arizona police watch: 'I'm not jumping in after you' (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2022 OP
RAB910 Jun 2022 #1
AZ8theist Jun 2022 #2
LizBeth Jun 2022 #3
lapfog_1 Jun 2022 #4
LetMyPeopleVote Jun 2022 #5
msongs Jun 2022 #6

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2022, 08:30 AM

1. this is a tough one to judge

being a strong swimmer is usually not a requirement to be an officer. Jumping in water and trying to rescue someone who is drowning really should only be attempted by someone who is a strong swimmer (and ideally trained in how to rescue someone). Otherwise just jumping in creates more victims.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2022, 08:40 AM

2. Surprising these cops didn't shoot him as he was jumping in.....nt

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2022, 10:49 AM

3. Lifetime swimmer and lifeguard, I would not expect just anyone to jump in to save someone

drowning. They can too easily be taken down also, especially in panic.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2022, 11:44 AM

4. Having been in a similar situation

I was a dive instructor for a period in my life (35 years ago now) and was also a dive master for a Caribbean dive operation.

I was with a group for a morning dive... and I had 2 recently "certified" divers, both certified by a hotel dive course that I always thought was "weak" (my training came from an ex NAVY Seal instructor).

Anyway, on the dive boat headed to one of our standard dive locations I gave last minute instructions about having a dive buddy, check each others equipment, wait on the surface after entering for your dive buddy to join you, use hand signals, don't touch anything, etc.

We reached our destination and the boat captain hooked up to the mooring, the resort couple were eager to get wet. The guy jumped in from the dive platform and immediately descended.
His girl friend panics a little and jumps in after him. Only problem was... she didn't crank the valve on her air tank open. No air means she can't stay on the surface because her b/c is totally deflated and she is wearing weights. She immediately starts thrashing and trying to stay on the surface. I look at the boat captain and he looks back at me... I'm closet to being ready to go (but no dive fins)... so I jump into the water and sink down to find her... she is thrashing around like crazy and hitting me in the face and kicking me... I ignore all that and grab her legs and punch my b/c. We come back to the surface with her choking and spitting (and still hitting me). The boat captain was there (no dive equipment on) and we wrap her up and tow her back to the dive platform. She was alright after a few minutes on the boat.

I went down a little later to find her boyfriend pulling himself along the bottom by fire coral. I tapped him and hand signaled that he needed to surface.

BTW, fire coral is poisonous so by the time he got back on the boat his hands looked like cartoon hands and he was in agony. Instant karma!



Beached them both.

And yeah, saving someone from drowning is incredibly dangerous to the rescuer.

But these cops should have tried.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2022, 02:26 PM

5. I'm not going to help you:' Man drowned in Tempe Town Lake



https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/man-dead-after-jumping-into-tempe-town-lake-police-say

- Three police officers have been placed on administrative leave after they reportedly watched as a man drowned in Tempe Town Lake, transcripts revealed.

The incident began as a reported domestic violence situation at Tempe Beach Park between the man, identified as Sean Bickings, and his wife. Both denied that any fight had taken place.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2022, 03:32 PM

6. a person weighted down with full police uniform include guns, belts, heavy shoes, radio, etc ought

to think twice before jumping in a lake

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