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TPD Chief Magnus releases statement on April’s in-custody death

TUCSON - Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus released a statement Tuesday afternoon in reference to an in-custody death that occurred in April.

Back in April, a man died while in the custody of Tucson Police Department in reference to a disorderly conduct call, according to sources. Magnus said three officers reportedly involved in the case resigned from the department prior to TPD's administrative investigation into the arrest.

The police chief said after the investigation was concluded, TPD would have terminated the officers if they had not resigned.

“In this case, three officers did not live up to the high standards of the Tucson Police Department. They are no longer employed here,” Magnus said. “The vast, vast majority of our officers do their jobs well and responsibly and are rightfully disturbed and dismayed by any statements to the contrary. I continue to have the utmost confidence in the men and women of our police department.”

In the statement, the chief said the cause of death of the individual who was in custody was determined to be from a "sudden cardiac arrest, with acute
cocaine intoxication and an enlarged heart".

TPD said the individual was restrained in handcuffs, but no "blows, strikes, chokeholds, knee to the neck, chemical or electronic weapons were used" in the arrest. In addition, no shots were fired in connection to the incident.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero announced Tuesday that the scheduled city council meeting would be canceled due to this case.

The council was expected to discuss the city budget, which includes funding for the Tucson Police Department, during this meeting.

Magnus and Romero are expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the case.

Stay with News 4 Tucson for the latest updates.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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