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Police 'had no respect for human life,' family says; graphic video shows Lisa Edwards' desperate pleas for help
Image source: WBIR screenshot

Police 'had no respect for human life,' family says; graphic video shows Lisa Edwards' desperate pleas for help

Family members are distraught after bodycam footage shows Lisa Edwards' desperate pleas for help while in Knoxville Police Department custody, WATE and other outlets reported Friday.

"They treated her like she was trash," said a tearful Tim Boylan, Lisa Edwards' son, in a heart-wrenching interview on WVLT.

Lisa Edwards, age 60, went to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center on February 5 after falling ill on a flight, WATE reported. When she refused to leave after the hospital released her, security guards called the Knoxville Police Department to arrest her. In the course of the arrest, Edwards became unresponsive. Officers brought her back inside the hospital where she was placed on life support and died of an ischemic stroke the following day.

What did the bodycam footage show?

"I'm going to have a stroke," 60-year-old Lisa Edwards says, her words slurred, as she is seen slumped on the ground near a police van on February 5. "I'm going to die."

"I know it's all an act," one officer says, responding to Edwards' pleas as they arrest her for trespassing after she refused to leave Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, where she died the next day.

When Edwards tells the officers she can't breathe and asks for a stretcher, officers' comments, caught on the bodycam footage, suggest they don't believe her. One offers her a cigarette.

"This is the Lord's Day. All I want to do is get me some coffee and some oatmeal. I'm not going to deal with your mess this morning," an officer tells Edwards.

After they eventually got Edwards into a cruiser, she became unresponsive. An officer says, "I don't know if she's faking it or what, but she's not answering."

At that point, officers took her back inside the hospital. Edwards was placed on life support and died of an ischemic stroke the next day.

How are family members responding?

"I can't believe she was treated the way she was. I just can't wrap my mind around it," said Tim Boylan, Lisa Edwards' son.

"I just want people to remember her as a loving, caring person," he added.

"The security guards were saying all kinds of stuff that’s not true about her. She did not deserve to be treated like that. Nobody does."

"It's the worst thing I've ever seen in my life," said August Boylan, Lisa Edwards' daughter-in-law in the interview with WVLT. "There's no way anybody is not going to look at this footage and think about if that was their loved one."

"The police officers may not have done anything intentionally criminal to cause anything to happen to her, but they definitely were negligent and had no respect for human life, any basic needs, anything," August Boylan told WATE.

What is the current status of the officers involved?

"To put the liability on the city of Knoxville for this lady's death is going to be a bit of a stretch because police officers are not trained to be EMTs," Dennis Francis, an attorney who represents police officers, told WBIR.

The Knox County District Attorney's Office announced that no criminal charges will be filed in connection with Edwards' death, WATE reported.

The Knoxville Police Department released an unlisted video on YouTube Thursday showing "relevant police video footage from the February 5, 2023 arrest of 60-year-old Lisa Edwards." TheBlaze cautions viewers that the portions of the footage contain graphic content that may be disturbing.

Critical Incident Video Release: Arrest of Lisa Edwards (February 5, 2023)youtu.be

Watch WBIR's coverage of recent developments in Lisa Edwards' case below.

'We want to know what happened' | 60-year-old woman dies after becoming unresponsive in KPD custodyyoutu.be

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