Police Lie About Death of Man in Custody


Here’s another one of those depressingly unsurprising stories about a man dying during an arrest and the police lying about what caused his death. In this case, the police claimed the man died from choking on drugs while they were putting him in custody; the coroner now says he died from blunt force trauma:

The state medical examiner has determined that an East Baltimore man’s death in police custody last month was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma, an account that conflicts with earlier assertions that he died from choking on drugs.

A copy of the autopsy report provided by the family of Anthony Anderson, 46, showed that he suffered fractures to eight ribs, contusions to his left lung and a ruptured spleen.

The determination that Anderson died by homicide means the death was caused by another person, though it does not speak to intent, or whether the death was an accident. Police and prosecutors were investigating the circumstances to determine whether officers acted improperly during the arrest, and declined to comment in detail.

It has yet to be determined what happened, but this is exactly why every single police officer should have video and audio recording equipment on their uniforms and in their cars at all times. Not one single interaction between a police officer and another person while they’re on the job should be unrecorded. Because we know now, after years of cell phone and surveillance videos, that officers routinely lie on reports — especially if they might be implicated in misconduct or abuse.

Comments

  1. says

    Police and prosecutors were investigating the circumstances to determine whether officers acted improperly during the arrest, and declined to comment in detail.

    I wait with baited breath to read the report that fully and completely exonerates the officers of any wrongdoing.

  2. Jordan Genso says

    …this is exactly why every single police officer should have video and audio recording equipment on their uniforms and in their cars at all times. Not one single interaction between a police officer and another person while they’re on the job should be unrecorded.

    Is anyone aware of any political candidates that are promoting such a policy? It would be refreshing to see.

  3. says

    Channeling John Lovitz’ pathalogical liar character, here:

    Uh, well, he DID die as a result of taking the drugs. What happened was the police officers, selfless and brave as they are, realized that he had ingested a dose that would prove fatal should it reach his stomach so they performed and EHM* so that he would puke up the drugs. Yeah, that’s ticket! Unfortunately, despite their best efforts the patieperp expired.

    * Enhanced Heimlich Maneuver

  4. says

    Obviously, the blunt force trauma was from when the cops tried to get him to spit the drugs out. Or something like that. Cops’ll get administrative leave and quietly return to duty to kill again some other day.

  5. D. C. Sessions says

    I fully expected this story to be set here in Maricopa County.

    Not only would that not be news, but the case would have already been closed without the inconvenience of an investigation.

  6. John Hinkle says

    I’m sure it was just an innocent mistake:

    Cop 1: Hmm, suspect appears to be choking on his own blood. I better note this in the report. *rolls platen to Notes box, starts typing* S-u-s-p-e-c-t a-p-p-e-a-r-s t-o b-e c-h-o-k-i-n-g o-n h-i-s o-w-n…
    Cop 2: Hey Cop 1, did your wife ever get the insurance to pay for those expensive drugs?
    Cop 1: Naw, they stiffed us. *continues typing* d-r-u-g-s.

  7. d.f.manno says

    Cops don’t just lie on reports – they lie under oath at trial. I was a juror in a drug case. One of the cop witnesses testified as to the direction of traffic on the street he was following the defendant on. Unfortunately for him. I lived a block away from that street, and knew that traffic ran in the opposite direction. If he was willing to lie about something that minor and that easily checked, what else was he lying about?

    The jury acquitted the defendant on all charges, only partly due to the credibility of the cop witnesses. The state never proved that the drugs were ever in the defendant’s possession.

Leave a Reply