‘Treated Him Like … He Was an Animal’: Video Shows Black Man Plead for Help While Being Forcefully Restrained By Four Security Guards Outside Milwaukee Hotel

The family of a Wisconsin man is demanding answers and accountability after their loved one died after being forcefully held down by a group of hotel security guards.

Video making its way across social media platforms shows four security guards pinning D’Vontaye Mitchell down on the ground at the entrance of a Hyatt Regency Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Sunday, June 30.

D’Vontaye Mitchell, 43, died after being pinned down by four security guards at the entrance of a Hyatt Regency Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo: YouTube/FOX6 Milwaukee)

By the time police and first responders arrived at the hotel, the 43-year-old was unresponsive. He died there.

According to witnesses, the encounter between Mitchell and the guards started after Mitchell reportedly locked himself inside the women’s bathroom in the hotel lobby. He started threatening staff members before he was tackled by security at the hotel entrance.

In the video, he can be heard saying, “I’m sorry!” as a guard shouts, “This is what happens when you go into the ladies’ room. This is what happens when a man goes into the women’s room.”

Viewers can also hear Mitchell groaning in distress and pleading for help as onlookers watch the scene. At least 20 to 30 people were nearby.

One witness who recorded the scene stated that the four guards had knees on various parts of Mitchell’s back and that one guard appeared to strike Mitchell while he was being detained. The guards didn’t release their hold on him until police arrived.

“When the police came, that’s when they started getting off of him and police … started checking for a pulse,” Shawn Moore said. “He checked a neck first then he checked an arm and then his neck again and then he turned him over and his body was limp.”

A medical examiner concluded that the preliminary manner of Mitchell’s death is homicide, but the official cause is still being determined. The homicide unit of the Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the incident, but a criminal investigation hasn’t been opened.

No one has been arrested or charged in Mitchell’s death at this time.

“They treated him like he was nothing, like he was an animal,” Mitchell’s sister-in-law Candice Miller said.

Mitchell was a husband and father of two children. His family said he struggled with mental illness for years.

“He didn’t deserve that. I don’t care what he did,” Mitchell’s wife, DeAsia Harmon, told WISN. “He was unarmed and didn’t deserve what they did to him. There is no way to accept that. There is no way to make that OK. Whatever the law allows. I just want everyone to be held accountable.”

Mitchell’s brother said the way the guards restrained Mitchell reminded him of George Floyd, who was also restrained by multiple officers and died after being pinned down by the neck for nearly nine minutes.

“It’s like watching the video of George Floyd’s death,” Mitchell’s younger brother, Darrell Giles said. “Everything about it reminds me of George Floyd.”

After seeing the cellphone recording, the family is now asking the hotel for security footage. They’ve retained the services of a lawyer as they await the investigation results from law enforcement.

“You’re seeing them force his hands behind their back, you’re seeing them on top of his lungs,” Harmon’s lawyer William Sulton said. “They are literally killing him.”

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