Attorneys release dashcam video of woman who died outside hospital

Barbara Dawson collapsed while being escorted from hospital in handcuffs

Barbara Dawson familyh photo inset in dashcam image
Barbara Dawson familyh photo inset in dashcam image

BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. – Attorneys have released police dash-cam audio and video of a woman who died after being forcibly removed from a Florida hospital, and they are renewing charges of negligence against the hospital as multiple state agencies continue to investigate the case.


Attorneys for the family of Barbara Dawson released video recorded from a police car that was called to the Blountstown hospital where the 57-year-old woman died on Dec. 21.


The entire dash cam video is more than two hours long and shows separate views from inside and in front of the police cruiser. Dawson can be heard saying she could not breathe, while asking for help before she collapsed.

During a news conference at the law offices of well-known civil rights attorney Parks and Crump in Tallahassee, lawyers and family members all said Dawson likely would not have died had she been treated like a sick patient, rather than as a criminal.

Attorney Ben Crump says nobody in a position of power listened to Dawson's pleas for help.

"Nobody gave her the benefit of humanity. She was a human being. She was a woman who could have been our sister, our mother, our aunt and they treated her like she was not worthy of consideration," Crump said.

Martha Smith Dickson was Dawson's cousin. She says the hospital, and law enforcement, should have done a better job handling the situation.

"Her family is saying today that we cannot bring Barbara back -- no one can bring her back. Therefore, we want justice for Barbara so this will not happen to anyone else," she said.

Last month, the state Agency for Health Care Administration began investigating Calhoun Liberty Hospital after the death of Dawson, who had been forcibly removed from the facility.

She had gone to the Blountstown hospital for treatment but refused to leave after being discharged, according to police.

She collapsed as a police officer took her to a patrol car and was later pronounced dead.

A medical examiner said the cause of death was a blood clot in her lungs, according to police and the hospital.