Jun 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Tucson police chief offers to resign after man's death in custody

Richmond, California police chief Chris Magnus speaks to reporters in front of Richmond High School

Chris Magnus, pictured when he was police chief of Richmond, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The chief of police in Tucson, Arizona, offered to resign during a news conference on Wednesday in which the department released video of a Carlos Adrian Ingram Lopez, 27, who died in police custody.

What he's saying: "We have determined that three involved officers committed multiple policy violations and failed to handle the incident consistent with their training," Chief Chris Magnus said, stressing the officers did not "deploy strikes, use chokeholds or place a knee" on Ingram-Lopez's neck" during the April incident.

"The officers restrained Mr. Ingram-Lopez in a prone position for about 12 minutes. Mr. Ingram-Lopez went into cardiac arrest and, despite the officers' attempts to revive him, was declared deceased at the scene by Emergency Medical Services personnel."
ā€” remarks by Magnus at the news conference

The big picture: The officers had held Ingram-Lopez face down in the prone position for roughly 12 minutes before he went into cardiac arrest. The video shows him in handcuffs repeatedly calling out in English and Spanish for water and for his grandmother before he died at the scene.

  • County medical examiner said Ingram-Lopez "died of sudden cardiac arrest ... with acute cocaine intoxication and an enlarged heart," per KOLD-TV.
  • Three Tuscon offers have resigned over the death of Ingram-Lopez resigned on June 18, Arizona Central notes. Two of the officers who resigned are white and one is Black.

What she's saying: Tuscon Mayor Regina Romero, the first Latina to serve as mayor of the city, said in Spanish at the news conference: "These officers would have been terminated had they not resigned," according to the New York Times.

  • Romero said she hadn't heard about Magnus' resignation until the news conference and would discuss this further with other city leaders, KOLD-TV notes.

Of note: The developments come as Latinos across the U.S. are rallying for changes to the ways police treat their communities following the Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the May death in police custody of George Floyd.

  • Californian protesters have been calling in recent days for an investigation into the fatal shooting by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy of Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old Latino.
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