Arizona cops calmly watch man drown in lake

On May 28, 2022 Sean Bickings, a 34-year-old man, drowned in Tempe Arizona's town lake while police officers stood by, watching. The Tempe Police Department just released body cam footage and a transcript of the footage. The transcript reveals that at one point during the incident, when Bickings says he is going to jump in the lake, one police officer responds, "I'm not jumping in after you."

The released body cam footage ends before Bickings drowns, with a statement reading, "Due to the sensitive nature of the remaining portion of the recording, a transcript of the sensitive portion of the event is being provided for full transparency." You can read the transcript of the footage at the AZ Family news site, and watch the footage here

On his Facebook page, Tempe Mayor Corey Woods released the following statement on June 5, 2022: 

A week ago, a member of our community tragically drowned at Tempe Town Lake. I want to express my sincere condolences to his family and friends. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Bickings the Thursday before his passing, as he had graciously volunteered to assist the City of Tempe and our nonprofit human services partners about how we can better work together to assist our unsheltered community. 

The officers who were on the scene have been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation that is being conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Scottsdale Police Department. I am staying in regular contact with City Manager Andrew Ching about this situation. It is my expectation that this investigation be handled professionally and transparently, as every member of our community is important and valued. I will provide an update when the investigation concludes to ensure the public is kept fully informed.

He conveniently left out the part about the administrative leave being PAID. This is hardly the first time Tempe police have acted terribly. Joel Cornejo, founder of the Tempe-based grassroots human rights advocacy group Semillas Arizona, stated, "Tempe Police Department hides behind the liberal front that the city likes to show. . . The reality is that the city overfunds the police department in Tempe. The police in Tempe do whatever they want with no accountability."