Video shows cops call man ‘dumb ass’ as they watch him drown

Tennessee cops ignored a drowning man’s repeated cries of “Help me!” — calling him a “dumb ass” rather than trying to save him, according to disturbing police bodycam video.

Johnny “JJ” Baldwin, 24, fell into Tims Ford Boiling Fork Creek in Winchester as he fled on foot after officers tried to pull him over for a minor traffic violation early last Thursday, authorities told WKRN.

Officers were heard teasing Baldwin as he called out for help three times while clearly struggling before he drowned, the station said when it aired the footage.

“Well then, swim,” one officer can be heard replying after one of his pleas, saying, “Your dumb ass jumped in the river.”

When one of the four officers there volunteered to follow him into the water, another — confirmed by police as a sergeant — stopped him, the report said.

“No, don’t go in there with him, he’s going to pull you down,” the sergeant said.

The sergeant even seemed unconcerned when a colleague warned that Baldwin had “gone under.”

“He’s doing it on purpose,” the sergeant claimed.

Winchester Police Chief Richard Lewis called it an “extremely sad situation,” telling ABC News his department has “caught absolute hell” after releasing the bodycam footage.

He insisted the officers “made the right decision” given it was dark, they did not know how deep the water was and they were not trained in water rescues. The rescue squad and dive team were en route before Baldwin drowned, the police incident report said.

“If my officer got in there and got tied up with him [and got pulled under], it’s just a bad situation,” Lewis told ABC News.

Baldwin’s family is calling for the officers to be fired and charged, the stations said.

“He was an innocent 24-year-old man, drowned begging for help three times and the police sat there and laughed and made jokes about it,” close family friend Brian Kirk told WKRN.

Two Decherd police officers were involved along with two from Winchester, the reports said. Decherd’s police chief did not immediately respond to the stations’ requests for comment.

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