Video Shows Fierce Struggle Before Death in VA Jail


The sheriff's office in Fairfax County, Va., released a 19-minute video Thursday showing the struggle between officers and a mentally ill woman that preceded her death last February. The Washington Post says the video shows a team of six deputies outfitted in white biohazard suits approaching the cell of Natasha McKenna in the county jail. The deputies swing the cell door open and push McKenna against it with a plastic riot shield. The woman, who appears to be naked, says, “You promised you wouldn't kill me. I didn't do anything.”

The video shows McKenna resisting as deputies wrestle her to the ground, restrain and then Taser her four times. She stops breathing soon after and is taken to a hospital, where she died days later. Sheriff Stacey Kincaid said she released the video so the public could understand what happened, after months of media coverage of the controversial death. On Tuesday, the county prosecutor announced that he would not file charges against the deputies involved, saying they acted with restraint under difficult circumstances. But the release of the video intensified criticism from McKenna’s family and mental health advocates over the handling of her case.

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