A man possibly under the influence of drugs died while in police custody following a fight with Philadelphia officers in a parking lot
On Wednesday around 5:15 p.m., 35th District officers responded to a Rite Aid parking lot on 4600 North Broad Street for a report of a person in need of medical attention. When police arrived, they spotted a shirtless 28-year-old man who was laying on the ground between two parked cars.
The officers said they received information indicating a pharmacist had administered naloxone to the man before they arrived. The man became increasingly agitated in front of the officers, screaming unintelligibly while moving between the parked cars and striking the vehicles and ground with his body, investigators said.
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Police said they struggled to put the man in handcuffs. During the struggle, a 31-year-old officer punched the man in the face and head area, according to investigators. The man was then put in handcuffs and placed into a medic unit with an accompanying medic and police officer.
Police said the man became unresponsive while en route to the Albert Einstein Medical Center. They were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:58 p.m. that evening.
Police have not yet revealed the man’s identity or a cause of death. They continue to investigate.
“Any loss of life brings pain, sadness, and questions for all involved,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “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.”
This story is developing. Check back for updates.