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DALLAS (KRLD) – Dallas activists and the family of Joseph Hutcheson are demanding that Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez release surveillance video recorded earlier this month when Hutcheson died in the lobby of the Lew Sterrett Justice Center.

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According to the Sheriff’s Office, Hutcheson went to the jail the morning of August 1, leaving his truck parked on the street outside. He was yelling and, according to witness accounts to Hutcheson’s family, was asking for help, saying, “I can’t breathe.” A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said Hutcheson was erratic, and was saying that his wife was trying to kill him.

Joseph Sheldon Hutcheson

Joseph Sheldon Hutcheson

Information from witnesses and the Sheriff’s Office, about how deputies restrained Hutcheson and how he died, directly oppose each other.

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“There are seven cameras in that lobby. We have been begging for the tape. When the tape comes out, the truth comes out,” says Hope for Peace and Justice executive director Reverend Dr. Jeff Hood, who brought his concerns to the Dallas County Commissioners Court Tuesday morning. “From six different eyewitness accounts, he was roughed up. Everyone says he went in for help and got a knee to the throat.”

Hood organized a recent prayer vigil and rally at the jail, along with the Next Generation Action Network and Minister Dominique Alexander. During Tuesday’s meeting, Alexander told the Commissioners and County Judge Clay Jenkins that deputies in riot gear broke up the gathering. “There are some issues going on at the Dallas County Jail, and I want this court to look into it.”

Hood tells NewsRadio 1080 KRLD that he spoke with both Judge Jenkins and Sheriff Valdez following the meeting. He says Jenkins offered his condolences to Hutcheson’s family, but could not comment on the investigation.

According to Hood, Sheriff Valdez said the surveillance tape from inside the jail will at some point be released, but to do so now would impede the ongoing investigation.

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