AZ cops under fire for standing by as man drowns, body cam captures cries for help

When Arizona police officers say you’re not allowed to swim in a lake, you’d better listen to them. Otherwise, you may end up drowning as they watch.

This is, apparently, the lesson to be drawn from a recent tragic incident in Tempe, Arizona. Allegedly, a transcription of bodycam footage from local police officers indicates that they merely stood by and ignored a man’s pleas for help as he drowned after unadvisedly jumping into Tempe Town Lake for a swim.

According to reporting from the local News 12 station, 34-year-old Sean Bickings and his unnamed partner were approached by police shortly after 5 a.m. on May 28, near Tempe’s Elmore Pedestrian Bridge. The officers were responding to a reported “disturbance” at the scene, though Bickings and his wife denied there was an altercation.

When the cops informed the couple that they were running a standard check on their names to see if they had any outstanding arrest warrants, Bickings suddenly decided to climb over a four-foot fence and then dive into the water.

The bodycam footage, which was reviewed by News 12, records Bickings’ interaction with the police.

“I’m gonna go for a swim,” he says. “I’m free to go, right?”

As a matter of fact, he wasn’t, and the police informed Bickings that he was not allowed to go for a swim in the lake. However, they were unable to prevent him from going into the water.

**WARNING: Sensitive Content**

The video shows Bickings swimming out into the lake, heedless of the cops’ admonitions, as one cop asks the others: “How far do you think he is going to be able to swim?” The footage cuts out at this point, as the Tempe police redacted the footage of the man’s drowning, claiming it is too “sensitive,” according to News 12.

Instead, they provided a transcript of the incident.

“I’m drowning,” Bickings shouts.

“Come back over to the pylon,” one of the officers says.

“I can’t, I can’t,” Bickings is heard to say.

“Okay, I’m not jumping in after you,” another officer replies.

“Please help me! Please, please, please,” Bickings is heard to beg on the bodycam footage. “I can’t touch…oh God, please help me. Help me.”

Bickings’ wife apparently also begs the officers to help him.

“I’m just distraught because he’s drowning right in front of you and you won’t help,” she is heard to say, which seems like a reasonable reaction, given the situation. A police officer warns her that he’ll detain her in a police car if she doesn’t settle down.

“I’m trying to,” she says, “but I get very emotional ’cause I care deeply about him. ‘Cause he gave me my little girl, for crying out loud.”

The usual suspects have joined in to call for the abolition of the police, without awaiting further facts in the case. Because of Bickings’ race, the story is quickly be framed as an incident of racist cops indifferent to the drowning of a black man.

“Rest in Power Sean Bickings,” said one Twitter user. “The world will be a safer place when we abolish the police.”

“Reason #1,326,498 why cops should not exist,” said another. “They watched a Black man, Sean Bickings, drown and said they won’t help. Threatened to arrest his wife if she didn’t ‘calm down.'”

The video shows one of the officers apparently trying to get a boat to attempt a rescue, but it was too late by that time. Bickings drowned, and his body reportedly wasn’t fished out of the lake until six hours later.

The three officers who responded to the scene have been placed on administrative leave, as is standard in these situations, pending the conclusion of an investigation into the matter.

As with almost all police confrontations, there is often much more to the story than is first reported.


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11 thoughts on “AZ cops under fire for standing by as man drowns, body cam captures cries for help

  1. Why do blacks have need to defy police instructions should be the question. So
    a Police officer is supposed to strip down the 20 lbs of bp vests, gun, extra clips, and all the other stuff they carry, remove shoes and other items, crawl over a fence, jump off a concrete bulkhead to save someone destined to be in the Darwin awards? If I was a cop I wouldn’t do it for anybody regardless of race. I wonder what his police record was and what the actual disturbance was. Obviously
    Someone was concerned enough to make the call. The liberals sure love to play on race it’s pathetic!! George Floyd died of a heart attack because of the extremely high amount of fentanyl in his system and his girlfriend confirmed this under testimony.

  2. Hey, bizpacreview — 9 — count them — 9 — out of 12 comments are people trying to advertise and sell their scams!! Where are you? Who’s watching the store while they do their thing and “steal” space from the legitimate commenters who want to discuss your article?? What do we have to do to get you to STOP them??? Please do tell. 😠

  3. Anything that happens with guns ,fire ,looting,burning ,smash and grab .
    Murder ,,BLM ,antifa ,violence is all instigated by the fkjbidens to divert
    Away from the mid terms .
    Remember when poopy pants Nadler said antifa was a myth ?
    The fires were ablaze ,looting murder in obamma ass times
    Yet we were told this is a quiet demonstration as all hell was breaking loose .
    BUll shit liars ,period .
    Want a great government , vote Republican.

  4. Cops should be fired and then arrested for not helping or coming to the aid . Sure doesnt earn them the nickname of “First Responders”. More like the “First Hecklers”.

    1. No maybe people need to pay attention to what they are told,there is concequences for your stupidity,,🖕ignorant people,,,,,,,,FJB,,,,,,,

    2. F uc k you, how about following the law, oh I guess that does not count in your world.
      You must be a dumb as the person who could not swim, and then jumps into the water.

  5. I wouldn’t jump in after him and have him drag me under? Stupid people should die.

  6. The only reason this is getting any attention is because he is BLACK. They didn’t just show up there, someone saw/heard a disturbance & called. He was not under arrest & he had a right to go. HE chose to jump in the water, HE chose to swim out too far. Would any of the fcking media or other race baiters jump in? How about his wife, she could have jumped in. Saving a drowning man without the right equipment can end your life. Screw all the complainers. He chose, he died, adios. Guess he won’t try that again.

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