Three Tucson police officers resigned on Wednesday after the Tucson Police Department released video footage of the April in-custody death of 27-year-old Carlos Adrian Ingram Lopez. Police Chief Chris Magnus has also offered his resignation.
Ingram Lopez's grandmother called police shortly after 1 a.m. on April 22 to perform a "welfare check" after her grandson was "drunk, yelling and running around the house naked," Magnus said during a media briefing on Wednesday.
Ingram Lopez's Death in Police Custody
Magnus noted that Ingram Lopez had committed domestic violence against a significant other and was reported for disorderly conduct involving his family two days before. Ingram Lopez ran to an enclosed garage adjoining the house when officers arrived at the scene.
The officers then ordered Ingram Lopez to get down on the ground, handcuffed him behind his back and placed him face-down on the floor. The bodycam footage shows him pinned down in the prone position while officers placed multiple disposable blankets over him as he lay on the ground. Ingram Lopez was held in the position for around 12 minutes before he went into cardiac arrest.
In the footage, Ingram Lopez can be heard repeatedly asking for water and his grandmother moments before his death. They eventually realize Ingram Lopez is unresponsive before removing the blankets and performing CPR in an attempt to revive him. He was later pronounced dead. You can watch the bodycam footage below (WARNING: The footage is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised).
Cause of Death: Physical Restraint
Magnus said officers were not restricting his airway with any form of chokehold, and no officer placed a knee on his neck but the officers violated training protocol by restraining the victim face down.
An autopsy conducted by the Pima County Medical Examiner found that Ingram Lopez died due to a combination of cocaine in his system, a pre-existing heart condition and physical restraint by the officers involved.
"The cause of death is ascribed to sudden cardiac arrest in the setting of acute cocaine intoxication and physical restraint with cardiac left ventricular hypertrophy as a significant contributing condition," the report read.
Both a criminal investigation and administrative investigation were conducted following the in-custody death, which is required under department policy. The criminal investigation has since been sent to the Pima County Attorney's Office, who will ultimately determine whether the involved officers should face criminal charges. The FBI has also been asked to review the case.
News of Ingram Lopez's death comes a week after another Latino, an 18-year-old security guard named Andres Guardado, was shot and killed in Gardena, California, after police allegedly spotted him flashing a gun in front of a business.
Lopez and Guardado's deaths come amid the killings of several African Americans such as Rayshard Brooks and George Floyd, which have sparked protests against police brutality and systematic racism across the nation.