Distressing bodycam footage emerged of a young man calling for help in a river minutes before he went under the water while policemen looked on.
Johnny Baldwin, 24, was pursued by police outside of Winchester, Massachusetts, the US, for a minor traffic violation until he pulled over at a dead end in the early hours of June 4.
Baldwin then fled on foot, and as the Winchester officers searched the area, they heard something in the water nearby, a Winchester Police incident report said.
Bodycam footage taken from one of the officers shows the team walking into a path towards a river where Baldwin submerges into the water.
As the torch light shines on Baldwin, he appears to be struggling to keep him afloat as he calls out for help.
It’s suggested that Baldwin had made a plea for help three times, but no police officers offer help to pull him to the land.
One officer is heard saying: “Swim! You don’t just f***ing jump into a river!”
“Don’t go in there with him, he’s going to pull you in,” another said.
Baldwin went under the water a few minutes later and never came up again.
An officer wrote in the report: “I gave him orders to stop and swim back towards us, which he did.
He said Baldwin was about 10 feet from the river bank when “he stopped coming closer and just floated there for a second”.
Winchester Police chief Richard Lewis told ABC News: “He ends up drowning, which is an extremely sad situation.
“We have released our body camera and we have caught absolute hell for it.”
“If my officer got in there and got tied up with him [and got pulled under,] it’s just a bad situation.”
Baldwin’s cousin, Destiny Baldwin, criticised the police and believed they should be responsible for Baldwin’s death.
She said the video “sent straight anger through me, because I know what kind of person that he is”
“They treated him very, very unfairly,” she added.