(LATIMES) — From the moment Los Angeles police handcuffed him, Jorge Azucena told officers he needed help.
"I can't breathe, I can't breathe," he pleaded. "I have asthma, I have asthma."
In the half-hour or so after his arrest late one night last September, Azucena said over and over that he was struggling for breath. Numerous LAPD officers and sergeants heard his pleas for medical attention but ignored them even as his condition visibly worsened.
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"You can breathe just fine," one sergeant told him. "You can talk, so you can breathe."