On the evening of November 6, Kenneth Vinyard, 48, was pushed down the sidewalk by a police officer shortly after a shooting outside a Walmart in Center Township, Pennsylvania. He died within a few hours.
His fiancee – who was at the scene – said in an interview that Vinyard was beaten “near the chest or throat” by police, who authorities say was off duty without reason. Video obtained by The Daily Beast appears to capture the moment in question.
Fiancee Marcy Beatty said: ‘He hit something like a clothesline and I don’t know if he was trying to sweep his legs because he ended up on top of him. that. in an interview.
Beatty told The Daily Beast she saw Vinyard fall and start convulsing after he was hit.
Low-quality, pixelated cell phone video that appears to capture Vinyard—in an orange shirt—falling to the ground in the upper left of the frame, as emergency personnel respond to a shot victim in front of. Who or what caused him to fall is unclear in limited footage.
“Well, what happened!” shouted an outsider.
“Get the camera out of here now!” A screaming voice can be heard before the short clip ends.
Vinyard was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to the Pennsylvania State Police report released on Nov. 9. The agency is currently conducting an investigation into Vinyard’s death, according to the report, which states that a police officer on duty “used[d] force against Vinyard” and the result was “Vinyard collided with the pavement and lost consciousness.”
Beaver County PSP station commander, Sgt. Gesuele Burello said that the video “appears to be a legitimate video from that night”, although it is difficult to identify specific people.
The report claimed that the use of force by the police on Vinyard was an “incident” that was not detailed and did not clarify any official cause of death.
The Beaver County Coroner’s Office did not respond to Vinyard’s request for autopsy results.
The results of the independent autopsy by controversial celebrity pathologist Dr Cyril Wecht have not been finalized. But “preliminarily, Dr. Wecht indicates that this man’s death was clearly caused by the actions of . . . this officer,” said family attorney Joel Sanson.
The unrelated shooting occurred before Vinyard fell, injuring a man. The alleged shooter was later arrested by police. But Vinyard’s fiancée believes the officer on duty reacting to the scene of a shooting — where she says her fiancé was just trying to help — caused his death and do so without provocation.
“I want this officer to pay for what they did to him,” Beatty told The Daily Beast. “I want him to spend the rest of his life in prison, so that every day he can think about what he did and why – because there is no reason at all,” she said.
Center Town Sheriff Barry Kramer referred all questions about the incident and the officer’s employment status to the Pennsylvania State Police. “Center Town and the Central Town Police Department send our thoughts and prayers to the family of Kenneth Vinyard,” he sent a written statement via email.
PSP Public Information Trooper Joshua Black sent a written statement from investigators, which confirmed an “active and public investigation” and that the agency is “working with the County DA’s Office Beaver to continue the investigation.” He did not answer questions about the officer’s identity, and Sgt. Burello only told The Daily Beast that the officer who used force on Vinyard was a member of the Beaver County Emergency Services Unit.
Both Burello and the statement refer all questions about the job and salary status of the officer in question back to the CTPD, which the statement said is “part of an administrative function and not part of criminal investigation.” CTPD did not respond to follow-up questions for this story.
On that Sunday night, Vinyard was waiting for Beatty in his car to leave the Beaver County Walmart when he found himself a witness to the shooting, she said.
“When I came out, he was with the victim,” Beatty told Beast Friday. “He called me over.”
Beatty and Vinyard’s sisters, Debbie Little and Lisa Sylva, told The Daily Beast that this was typical behavior of Vinyard, a philanthropist and friend of many police officers. According to his family, his phone was later found to contain pictures of “people running” and likely the shooter’s getaway vehicle.
“He’s trying to do the best he can to help and make sure they catch the guy who did this to that guy,” Beatty told The Beast through tears.
“And he ended up losing his life because of it. He was waiting for me in the car, so if he was in the car he would probably still be alive, but he came to this guy’s aid and ended up dead.”
According to Beatty, Vinyard limped and one leg was shorter than the other, meaning it could be considered “off balance”. But she said she noticed, while reviewing the video, that he lowered his hand when pushed.
She told Beast: “He was explaining to the guy, ‘I didn’t do anything,’ and he was actually backing away from the officer. (Exactly what happened before Vinyard fell—and what he was doing at the time—is virtually unrecognizable in the low-quality clip.)
Beatty, a medical assistant, said she initially assisted the shot victim after Vinyard called for her help — but as soon as her fiance fell to the sidewalk, she also found myself trying to save his life.
She shouted at the policeman to stay away from her loved ones.
“He said, ‘I’m a cop,’” Beatty recalled on Tuesday.
“I don’t care who you are, you did this, you need to stay away from him,” Beatty said she yelled as she started chest compressions.
Vinyard’s death shocked his loved ones, including his 12-year-old daughter Crimson—named after his favorite football team from the University of Alabama—but it also went viral. throughout Beaver County, his family said.
Beatty told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that at her fiancé’s memorial luncheon, a witness approached her with video of the incident and she met with the family of the shooting victim, the survivor.
The Go Fund Me for Vinyard’s funeral expenses — including bringing his body to his family’s home in Georgia — raised more than $20,000.
Beatty explained that she just wanted to know why the police chose Vinyard, who she insists was standing next to the scene and not acting aggressive.
“I just don’t get it… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve replayed it. I close my eyes, I see it. It just doesn’t make sense.