Black man dies after Milwaukee hotel security guards pin him down, video shows

Milwaukee police are investigating the death of a Black man in an incident that has drawn comparisons to the 2020 killing of George Floyd. Footage has emerged showing hotel security guards pinning the man to the ground as he screams for help.

Witness videos show Dvontaye Mitchell, 43, lying on the ground and screaming for help outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel as security guards pinned him to the ground with their hands and knees. Mitchell can be heard grunting and yelling excuses. Mitchell’s attorney said he had mental health issues.

Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing Mitchell’s family, said in a statement that a witness to the June 30 incident reported seeing one of the guards “strike him in the head with an object.” Police have not commented on those allegations.

“It is deeply troubling that we have lost yet another Black man in an encounter with security personnel, which raises serious concerns about the use of force, lack of accountability, and lack of mental health considerations,” Crump added in the statement. “The circumstances surrounding Dvontaye’s death outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel are disturbing and, as described by a witness, reminiscent of the killing of George Floyd.”

Floyd, who was Black, died in 2020 in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes — an incident that sparked global protests over racial inequality. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted and sent to federal prison.

Police said they were called to the Hyatt at 3:20 p.m. on June 30 for a person causing a disturbance. They received a report that the person began to fight while being escorted outside. When they arrived, officers did not find the person and attempted “life-saving measures” to no avail.

Crump’s statement identified the person as Mitchell and said his mother “believed he suffered from a mental illness.”

“Shocking cell phone video corroborates the accounts of several witnesses,” the statement added. “Dvontaye’s family is now seeking answers and justice in the face of this tragic loss.”

It’s unclear what happened immediately before or after the videos were recorded. In a video aired by local media, a security guard appears to confront the person recording the video and shout, “This is what happens when you go into the ladies’ room.” The company that runs the hotel, Aimbridge Hospitality, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Mitchell had entered a ladies’ room.

Mitchell’s family and legal team should be given access to the full footage of what happened that day, his mother, Brenda Giles, said at a news conference near the hotel Monday, adding: “I want justice for my son.”

“From the moment he got here, to the moment he went in there, to the moment he ran to this bathroom… we should have seen all of that. Why didn’t they show us?” asked Mitchell’s sister, Nayisha Mitchell.

Milwaukee police say they are investigating the incident and Mitchell’s cause of death.

“The matter has been referred to our office and is currently awaiting further review. There is no timeline for a charging decision at this time,” the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office told The Post on Tuesday.

The Milwaukee County Coroner’s Office reported on July 1 that Mitchell’s preliminary cause of death was homicide, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The coroner’s office said in 2018 that it defines homicide as “death ‘by the actions of another,’ regardless of intent” based solely on “the medical evidence available at the time of the investigation,” and that a finding of homicide does not necessarily mean that someone else is legally responsible for the death.

The agency did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.

Giles told NBC affiliate WTMJ in Milwaukee that Mitchell was “a loving son, brother, uncle and father.” But she said Mitchell changed after losing his father in 2016.

Nayisha Mitchell said her brother then fell into a depression and “was trying to work on himself as well.”

She told WISN 12 News that the security team “should have been trained to deal with these types of situations. Mental illness is real.”

A Hyatt spokesperson said, “We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Dvontaye Mitchell, all who knew and loved him, and the Milwaukee community in light of this tragedy.”

The spokesperson said the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee “is operated by Aimbridge Hospitality, which is responsible for the management of hotel employees, including disciplinary actions related to the individuals involved in this incident. We understand that Aimbridge Hospitality is still completing its investigation and has, to date, suspended the employees involved in the incident.”

A spokesperson for Aimbridge Hospitality said: “We offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Mitchell’s family and loved ones. We continue to do everything we can to support the ongoing law enforcement investigation into this incident and have no further comment at this time. We remain committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all hotel guests and employees.”

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