By Todd Quinones
VINELAND, N.J., (CBS) – A man dies in police custody and now CBS 3 Eyewitness News has newly obtained video of the arrest.
The police K9 can be heard barking in the cell phone video capturing the arrest of Phillip White.
The 32-year-old man died Tuesday while in the custody of the Vineland Police Department.
Family and friends are pointing to this video to question if excessive force was used while White was handcuffed.
“All his mom wants to know is like what happened and why it happened to her son the way it did. Nobody wants to get that phone call to have to bury their son,” said White’s friend Melita Simms.
Melita Simms has been friends with White for more than a decade.
She says the father of three struggled with the use of PCP, but that he didn’t deserve to die.
Initially he was being questioned by police in response to a disorderly conduct call on the 100 block of Grape Street.
(Emergency Responder:) “He’s got my gun, right now.”
(Emergency Responder:) (inaudible) “Subject under, got an apprehension. He tried to turn on me.”
Recorded scanner traffic indicates the officer believed White was trying to grab his service weapon during an altercation with police just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Off camera an eyewitness told CBS3 Eyewitness News White began freaking out when an officer asked if he needed medical assistance that White tried to kick the officer after banging on his patrol car.
“The officer obviously tackled him and he was screaming he was reaching for his gun. They let the dog out,” said the eyewitness.
The eyewitness also says the police K9 bit White during the scuffle.
The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating and indicates that while handcuffed and restrained White was placed in an emergency vehicle and that “…at some point during transport, White became unresponsive and CPR was instituted by medical personnel. White was pronounced dead at the hospital.”
Prosecutors believe there could be more cell video out there of the incident and they are urging anyone who has it to contact them immediately.
In the meantime, the autopsy results for Phillip White are pending the results of a toxicology report.