Houston part of NBC News report on dangerous practice of hogtying in law enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice warned 25 years ago that people can die when police tie handcuffed wrists to bound ankles. Some police are still doing it.

Marcus Smith's parents, Mary and George, and his sister, Kim Suber, outside City Hall in Greensboro, N.C. "The only thing Marcus wanted was help,” his father said. (Travis Dove / for The Marshall Project, Travis Dove / for The Marshall Project)

HOUSTON – On a warm October day in 2018, George and Mary Smith drove to police headquarters, where they had a 2 p.m. appointment to watch video of the death of their son Marcus.

Nearly everything they knew about the September 2018 incident in which he died came from a Greensboro Police Department press release, which said he had been suicidal and combative before collapsing as police tried to help him. A lawyer had secured their right to watch the body camera footage.

When they got to headquarters, Mary changed her mind.

“A mother doesn’t want to see her child fall off a bicycle, much less getting beat to death,” she said. “And that’s when I decided I did not want to watch.”

Watch Gabe Gutierrez tonight on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt for more on this story. For the full story, go to NBCNews.com.