MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After pressing the city for more than a year, WREG has obtained the shocking video that shows the day a 13-year-old boy drowned in a public pool.
WREG is not showing Cedric Walton's final moments that day in 2015, but we have continued to press for answers as to how and why he died when the pool he drowned in was supposed to be monitored by video.
Since his death, Walton's family has filed a lawsuit against the City of Memphis, the third party surveillance company, Delta Surveillance, and AT&T. WREG was the first to show the family's attorneys the heartbreaking video of the drowning they say never should have happened.
It was July 5, 2015 and Walton and group of friends decide to take a dip in their community pool.
It was Sunday, in the middle of summer. The L.E. Brown Pool in South Memphis was closed, but the group reportedly hopped a fence.
In the surveillance video the group splashes and plays around. It`s unclear how long they are actually in the pool. Video we obtained shows upwards of 20 minutes. Then somehow something goes wrong and Walton begins to struggle and eventually drowns. His friends, unable to help him, rush to get help.
Something important to keep in mind is while the kids did break-in, the pool cameras are supposed to be monitored off site. Along with video of the pool, we received another video. It is of a woman monitoring a number of screens at an unknown location. Right now it is unclear if she is in fact an employee of Delta Surveillance, the company contracted by the city at the time, but it appears at the time Walton is drowning she is on her phone and eating her lunch.
Delta Surveillance said the camera at the pool wasn't live streaming video. They said they told the city the internet, provided by AT&T wasn't working on Saturday and no one came to fix it. Walton died on Sunday.
At the time WREG pressed then Mayor A C Wharton repeatedly for answers about the break down in communication that cost a boy his life.
"It's, it`s complicated," he said.
On Wednesday WREG questioned current Mayor Jim Strickland.
"I cannot comment on the facts of the case because of the lawsuit," he said.
Shortly after the tragic incident Strickland was critical of the Wharton administration and how the city pools were monitored.
The city said they are no longer working with Delta Surveillance
Parks and Neighborhoods entered into a contract with SkyCop which now monitors the pools. If someone trespasses on the property when the pool is closed an alert will sound saying—“You’re trespassing. We’re calling the Memphis Police Department.”
The city claims since they entered into the contract this past summer the number of fence jumpers and calls to MPD decreased at outdoor pools.
"Any owner of a pool or something that is attractive to children has to be made safe. Whether the city owns it or private entity. That’s why fences are required. It’s because it’s called an attractive nuisance under the law so as an owner of those pools we have a due care obligation," explained Mayor Strickland.
The Skycop cameras are not currently up right now because the outdoor pools because they are closed. They will return in the Summer.
WREG reached out to Delta Surveillance for a comment but we have not heard back.