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65 Year Old Nigerian Man Dies following alleged Confrontation with US Police




Balantine Mbegbu

The black community in Phoenix, Arizona is expressing outrage over the death of a 65-year-old Nigerian man following his encounter with Phoenix police.

Tribex reports that the man, Balantine Mbegbu, died on the night of October 6th, while in police custody.

The events that allegedly transpired before his death are as follows:

Phoenix police responded to a 911 distress call about a fight at Mbegbu’s home.

According to a police statement, Mbegbu got physical with them when they arrived. They alleged that he spilled some hot liquid on them and kicked one of the officer’s in the groin, and meted out other forms of assault. As a result, the policemen say they were forced to react.

According to his family, the officers’ “reaction” was that they handcuffed him face-down till he began to foam at the mouth, and rolled him over and attempted several times to sit him up,” and shot him with a taser.

balantine and family

Balentine Mbegbu, his wife, and two teenage children

The police statement further revealed that “shortly after being detained, Mr. Mbegbu showed signs of medical distress. Officers immediately recognized this, removed the handcuffs, began first aid, and called for Phoenix Fire to assist.” Paramedics reportedly took him to the hospital, where he died.

Reports state Phoenix police are currently conducting investigations to determine exactly what caused Mbegu’s death.

The Phoenix community recently held a rally to protest the deceased’s death, describing it as police brutality. Here’s a notice that was disseminated  before the rally:

Phoenix, AZ– Civil rights and political leaders, and community members will rally at phoenix city hall to protest the killing of balantine mbegbu, a 65 year old black man killed by phoenix police on the night of Monday october 6th 2014.

Mbegbu, a retired father of two, was killed in his home by what supporters of his family are calling excessive force and brutality at the hands of police officers. Mr. Mbegbu was tasered to death in his own home.

“We are outraged at the actions that led to this man’s death,” says civil rights leader rev. Luther holland.

“We are marching for justice and to demand an independent investigation into another tragic killing by phoenix police officers.”

The family of Mr. Mbegbu is represented by Phoenix civil rights attorney Sabinas Megwa. “My client’s family and the entire community, people from every race, are incensed about the brutal and unnecessary killing of Mr. Mbegbu,” she said.

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  1. Just Saying

    October 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Domestic Violence? Ha! This man killed himself. When will Igbo men stop being violent?

    • Shoogah

      October 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      You obviously have difficulty reading, because it was never mentioned in this article that he killed himself. Don’t assume foolishness because Nepa gave you light today.

    • Nelly87

      October 21, 2014 at 2:28 am

      Hey, Its people like you that is holding back NIgerians at home and abroad. You should think before you hit the send button.

    • That Igbo Girl

      December 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Mcheewh! You are just an ignoramus!

  2. KeepingItReal

    October 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    @ “just saying ” what an idiotic, moronic, generalized, un-Called for. Illiterate, and a dumbfounded comment to make.
    A man lost his life , the first thing that comes to mind is’ igbo men and violence ”
    People like you, makes me sick!

  3. No Wonder

    October 20, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Abegi!!!! No be everything dem dey protest before they make all black people look silly! Whinny for just any reason. Wetin sef! I still don’t understand why people have physical altercations with police. What is wrong with you? See as the guy just die for nothing now simply because he could not act calmly. After spending most of my years in Nigeria, when I see uniform people anywhere, whether na USA or Europe, I behave myself because if anything happens, na had I known or she said, I said, they said! I will not even want people to protest because either I go don dey beyond (Abeg this earth too sweet, I never wan die yet and I don’t want to be a martyr, Jesus own don do for me) or I will be injured or maimed (I am averse to pain, even needle prick makes me burst into tears. Also, I am too beautiful and don’t want to alter my physical appearance because of one yeye police officer). Prevention is better than cure!

    • E

      October 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      You are probable a female, thats why you can afford to say this. Try living as a male or black male in the U S of A and see what difference it makes in you looking over your shoulders or being racially profiled by cops cos of your color. God help you if you are taller than the particular cop or bulkier.

  4. E

    October 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    The family of Mr. Mbegbu is represented by Phoenix civil rights attorney Sabinas Megwa”

    That right there means y’all aint getting any positive movement out of this case. You NEVER NEVER NEVER get an african or Nigerian attorney for a case in the US. hire an American. You are black, You need an American attorney. Racism or no racism, it still exists in this country

    as for those of you blaming the man, whatever he did or did not do (allegedly), it doesnt mean he should be killed. There’s a reason the law says “until proven guilty”. The fact he was foaming in the mouth means he was having seizure or epileptic episode which either goes back to having a medical problem or was brought on by the brutal force of the police.

    Yup, the way cops handle blacks especially black men is different. They are quick to use force which they shouldnt. And as for him kicking and pouring hot something……oh pulease. These people will say anything to support their “misfire”. Ferguson police anyone?

    • slice

      October 21, 2014 at 1:07 am

      B.S. i guess you think a white attorney would have been better for OJ Simpson. where do people come up with all this nonsense.

  5. nene

    October 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    violence towards an armed man or police officer is never the answer. just like that nysc girl who was attacked by a policewoman in lagos. i always smile with the police men anywhere at first sight, whenever i’m stopped. it helps me get away with stuff 98% of the time.

  6. 4mbegbu's

    October 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Hello All,
    The man in question is my uncle. The true story is this. He refused arrest, he was taesed, and on the process of trying to bring him down for handcuff, they made him(the police)hit his face on the ground, then there came the distress. He was suffering from diabetes before his death and wanted to come back home to Nigeria before this incident. He his a gentle man that cannot hurt a fly. Believe me, he has never been violent or troublesome for all the time I have been with him. He has also stood as our father.

    Chief B.B Mbegbu, May Your Soul Rest in Peace. For all the people you have left behind, we will miss you dearly. From all the 14 children of Mbegbu.

    • NaijaPikin

      October 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Question is why was he resisting arrest?
      It was mentioned that there was a 911 call to to domestic violence in his home. Was he identified as the attacker? is that why he was put under arrest?

      Please pple, if you are arrested, the case can always be dropped/reduced, if you fight police, you only add charges on and risk your health/life.

      Violence is never the answer. MAy he rest in peace.

    • khaleesi

      October 21, 2014 at 1:57 am

      why is your uncle refusing arrest?
      who called police in the first place? was there not a domestic issue in the house?
      i feel for your loss, but don’t go sugar coating the matter.

    • Mrs. Rubish

      December 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Oh my sympathy for the loss of your uncle! May his soul rest in peace.

  7. jake ro

    October 20, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Well,my comment to just saying is that as an outsider who happened to have lived and worked in nigeria for few years, igbo men still remain the best when it comes to home making and when compared to men of other own honest opinion considering my observation.

  8. Iphy

    October 22, 2014 at 3:16 am

    My condolence to the entire family for their loss. I do not think that the cops that responded to the domestic violence call set out to kill him, The details about who called the cops will surface. Warning to all: DO NOT FIGHT OR RESIST ARREST…it is called “suicide by cop”.

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