WARREN, Ohio (WJW) — Tears stream down Amanita Burleigh’s face as she sits at her kitchen table, clutching a picture of her 16-year-old son in her hands.
“My baby boy,” Burleigh says, as she takes a deep breath. “Why didn’t they help my baby boy?”
“I talked to the kids that were in the car with my son and they said after the shooting they went around in a circle and as they got around the circle they saw the police,” Burleigh said. “They stopped the police and advised them their friend was shot. The police officer was very rude and said, ‘Well, take him to the hospital.’ They weren’t from there and didn’t know where to go. The officer wouldn’t help, so they tried to Google it.”
Police body camera video obtained by the FOX 8 I-Team shows the officer telling dispatchers he is following the victim’s car to the hospital. The officer told the dispatcher the victim was shot and could not breathe.
The victim’s friend started going the wrong way because they were from Brunswick and not familiar with the area.
“You are going the wrong way,“ the officer can be heard shouting at the driver. The driver asked the officer to guide them and the officer then said he would.
The body camera video shows once the officer started following the vehicle it took about six minutes and 30 seconds for the victim to get to the hospital. He died a short time later.
“Minutes, seconds count. Why didn’t he get out of his car and try first aid, try to stop the bleeding?” Burleigh said. “Why didn’t he call EMS? I just don’t understand why he didn’t get help right away.”
We reached out to Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel, asking if the officer followed proper policy. The chief did not answer our question but released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by this horrific crime and send our condolences to the family and friends of Mye’Zavier Cannady,” Merkel stated. “Warren Police detectives are actively investigating this incident and are confident that the shooter will be identified and arrested. Consistent with protocol, this incident will be reviewed for full compliance the Warren Police Policies and Procedures.”
Attorney Gilbert Rucker, who is representing the family, said he is working to get answers for the family.
“It seems a deliberate indifference to saving and preserving the life of this young man,” Rucker said.
Rucker and Burleigh say they want answers.
“They were driving on flat tires,” Burleigh said. “They were shot out. How were they supposed to drive fast on flat tires? My concern is these are children. Why didn’t the police get out of his car, apply pressure, turn into a first responder and help him?”