Entertainment And News

Body Cam Video Reveals Virginia Police Slammed 77-Year-Old Man Into Truck Before His Death

Photo: Front Royal Police Department
Ralph Ennis

Virginia police involved in the arrest of an elderly man are being accused of causing an injury that would later lead to his death.

On April 2nd, Warren County, Virginia deputies were making an arrest on a 77-year-old man when they slammed him into his pickup truck and tackled him to the ground.

Newly released bodycam footage shows the harrowing scene that would ultimately prove the original Warren County Sheriff's Office story to be false.

Bodycam video shows Ralph Ennis fall to the ground after an altercation with police.

Ennis suffered a brain injury during the incident and died in hospice 13 days later.

The Warren County Sheriff's Office originally stated that Ennis, along with two deputies, had fallen over the trailer hitch of his pickup truck and hit his head.

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Reportedly, Ennis was pulled over over because he was driving erratically and speeding.

Ennis then didn’t stop his car for over four miles, authorities said, before eventually pulling over outside a 7-Eleven near Front Royal.

The sheriff’s office had also reported that Ennis hadn’t sustained any life-threatening injuries, however, the bodycam footage tells a different story.

In it, we can see the Front Royal police officer’s point of view as he arrives at the scene and bears witness to what goes down as a Warren County deputy run toward Ennis.

The 77-year-old man appears to be stumbling around, and when the deputies asked Ennis to drop his keys, he refused, prompting them to use the unnecessary force that they did.

"Get on the ground!" one deputy is heard yelling. The Front Royal officer whose bodycam footage was released can be heard disapproving of the incident as he gets back in his car, saying "That was … unjust and … un[expletive] called for."

When medics took Ennis to the hospital, the doctors told his wife, Linda Ennis, that he had a brain bleed, dying 13 days later on April 15th.

Linda had seen the bodycam footage once it had been released and admitted that it painted a completely different picture than the one the sheriff’s told.

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"It was very difficult to watch. I wish that I hadn't watched it now," she said. "It was way overkill. Just- none of that was necessary."

She added that Ralph had recently started struggling with dementia, and was the subject of a Silver Alert in mid-March.

Warren County Sheriff Mark Butler told News4 that he stands by the initial statement that his office released, but the Front Royal police officer’s official report refuted that statement by saying the deputy "jerked the male around" and "slammed the male into the camper top face first."

The medical examiner has yet to release the exact cause of Ralph’s death.

Virginia State Police have launched an investigation into the arrest.

This bodycam footage only adds to the list of unjust and unlawful incidents in which police abuse their powers as law enforcement to exert their control over civilians.

Ralph was a 77-year-old, married man who struggled with dementia and died in hospice because of the gross misuse of force and police brutality.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.