Philadelphia police investigate death of man while in police custody

Philadelphia police have launched an investigation after a 28-year-old man died while in police custody Wednesday.

Officers responded to a Rite Aid parking lot on the 4600 block of North Broad Street for a call of a hospital case at 5:18 p.m.

Responding officers arrived to find a small crowd near a man who was lying on the ground between two parked cars, shirtless. The officers were then informed that a pharmacist had administered naloxone to the individual before police arrived on scene.

Once police were on the scene, they say the man became “increasingly agitated” and began screaming and hitting cars and the ground with his body.

The officers struggled with the man while they attempted to handcuff him for safety purposes, according to police. 

During that struggle, the department says a 31-year-old officer struck the man in the face and head area with a closed fist. The man was eventually handcuffed and transported to Albert Einstein Medical Center.

During transport, the man became unresponsive and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the hospital just before 6 p.m.

“Any loss of life brings pain, sadness, and questions for all involved,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “We will conduct a thorough, complete and objective investigation. At present, because the encounter involved an application of force, the involved officer has been placed in administrative duty status as the investigation proceeds. Additionally, the Department is reviewing existing policies and procedures at it relates to facts and circumstances surrounding this incident.”

The department’s Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Unit is investigating the incident, although no firearms were discharged.


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