This past Wednesday, Tucson Police Chief offered his resignation after a 27-year-old Hispanic man was murdered while handcuffed in police custody. The unjust death also led to the resignation of three police officers that, according to the police chief, violated department policy.
Police Chief Chris Magnus reportedly announced his departure during a news conference, a day after the April 21 death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez became public. The city manager and the city council have to approve his resignation.
The medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the manner of death but reportedly said that Ingram-Lopez had died of, “sudden cardiac arrest while intoxicated by cocaine and physically restrained.”
Ingram-Lopez was reportedly placed face-down on the ground with a blanket over his head and stopped breathing shortly after. His grandmother called 911 because he was acting erratically.
Mayor Regina Romero reportedly said she needed to think about Magnus’ resignation after feeling surprised by his resignation. She added that he has been “an honest and great” police chief.
Magnus was appointed chief back in January 2016. He said three of the officers who responded to the 911 call “committed multiple policy violations and failed to handle the incident consistent with their training.” The three officers have since resigned but would have been fired anyway, Magnus said.
The county attorney’s office received the criminal investigation of Ingram-Lopez, and have not determined as of yet whether it will file criminal charges against the police officers.
A video that was released to the press on Wednesday showed Ingram-Lopez frantically running around a dark garage before the officers handcuffed him. Although the video quality is poor due to the lack of lighting, Ingram-Lopez can be heard apparently struggling for air, asking for water more than once, and sobbing as he laid face-down on the ground.
An officer then places what is presumed to be a yellow plastic blanket over his entire body, and then places another blanket on top of him soon after.
Ingram-Lopez is heard on video crying as he struggled for air on the ground fully covered. A few minutes later, he stopped moving and went silent.
Officers then administered chest compressions before emergency medical personnel announced him dead at the scene.