Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill just got back to me on the existence of further video of Carol Anne Gotbaum's arrest last Friday. Bottom line: There is some. This was Hill's response to my question about info. from a source of mine, a former security person at Sky Harbor, who informed me Thursday that Sky Harbor, like most airports, has more video cameras than a Vegas casino:
Frankly, as we all know the airport has a lot of cameras but for security reasons they don't put it out...we are still trying to gather any and all video footage...once investigators feel they have everything, they will supplement it in reports and then we go through the process again, depending where in the airport it is from, of trying to get TSA approval to fulfill public records requests....
The video the PHX PD released on Thursday followed the Gotbaum arrest from far away, so it was difficult to tell how much force was being used to restrain Gotbaum. Three burly PHX cops took her down after one of them reached for her and she pulled back. She's on the floor for a little while as they cuff her. How long were they literally on top of this 110-pound woman's back and did that keep her from breathing the way she should have been? Remember, she had been drinking, she was hysterical, and she was 45 years old. All of these factors may have played a part in her demise, in addition to her final Houdini-like death-dance inside the airport holding cell.
Of course, maybe the po-po were as gentle as they could have been, considering the circumstances. More video would help. In most cases, of course, such video does not exist. It's certainly nonexistent in the case of Archie Poole, who died in PHX PD custody Wednesday night/Thursday morning, not long after being arrested and cuffed by them. Below is the info. given out by Detective Stacie Dergie of the PHX PD's Media Relations Unit. I'll be following up on this story as well, so keep checking back.
Suspect: Archie R Poole Jr. B/M, 11-28-65, died at hospital, NOK has been notified Vehicle: 1986 Black Ford Thunderbird, AZ plate 160WDN, registered to suspect
We have impounded the car as evidence however it has not been searched yet so I do not know if any drugs or drug paraphernalia were found in the car. The suspect did have some bruising and swelling to his face but no broken bones or fractures. This investigation is still ongoing and I do not have any more information to release tonight. Below is previously released information. Thanks!
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Detective Stacie Derge Media Relations Unit Phoenix Police Department
Subject: In Custody Death at 2230 W Roeser Suspect: B/M, 41 years old, died at hospital, next of kin have not been notified
On 10-3-07 just before midnight officers riding in a two man patrol unit were patrolling a neighborhood in the area of 24th Ave and Roeser. They noticed a car parked in front of a known drug house in that neighborhood. A short time later while still patrolling they noticed the same car parked in front of a different known drug house in the neighborhood. When the car left they attempted to make a traffic stop in the area or 20th Dr and Atlanta. They made the attempt at 11:56pm (10-03-07). The driver did not stop for the officers and continued for a few blocks at which time the driver stopped abruptly and got out of the car. The driver started walking from the car but then turned around and got back in. Officers were approaching the car as the driver got back in and gave him commands to get out of the car. Witnesses described that both officers were on either side of the car trying to open the car doors and ordering the driver out of the car when the driver sped away.
The officers got back into the patrol car and were able to locate the car again in the area of 23rd Ave and Roeser. The driver drove off of the roadway and into Lindo Park at 2230 W Roeser. He then bailed out of the car and started running through the park. The officers chased him on foot and caught up with him. He was fighting with the officers as they were trying to take him into custody. Other officers arrived to the scene and they were able to take him into custody at 12:03am (10-4-07). None of the officers used a taser or pepper spray. They used physical force to take the suspect into custody. Shortly after they handcuffed the suspect he became unresponsive and at 12:06am the officers requested that the Phoenix Fire Department respond. The fire department responded and transported the suspect to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 12:57am. We will wait for the autopsy to determine cause and manner of death as well as any toxicology results. As with any in custody death situation there will be an investigation by our homicide unit as well as an internal investigation by our Professional Standards Bureau. None of the officers was injured in this incident.