Tucson Police Chief Offers to Resign When Video of Police Custody Death Released

Tucson police officers were called to a home the early morning of April 21 where Carlos Ingram-Lopez, 27, “was drunk, screaming and running naked around the house,” police chief Chris Magnus said at a conference release on Wednesday.

The video, which the department first publicly showed today, showed officers battling Ingram-Lopez in a dark garage at her grandmother’s house as they screamed loudly. Ingram-Lopez, who is naked, is finally handcuffed upside down “in a prone position for about 12 minutes,” Magnus said.

“Mr. Ingram-Lopez suffered cardiac arrest and, despite the agent’s attempt to revive him, was pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Magnus.

Magnus said the coroner’s report indicated that Mr. Ingram-Lopez had a very high level of cocaine in his system, as well as an enlarged heart, but the office was unable to conclusively determine his cause of death.

Magnus said an internal investigation found that the three officers involved committed “multiple policy violations,” but noted “that there is no indication of malicious intent,” and said they did not “strike, use suffocation, or place a knee on Mr. El. Ingram-Lopez neck. “

It did not specify which policies were violated.

Mr. Ingram López was Hispanic and the officers involved were black and white, Magnus said.

‘We see a clearly distressed person’

The incident was being investigated by the department when, on June 18, before the investigation was conducted, “the three senior officers in the case submitted their resignations to the department,” Magnus said.

“The files of these officers reflect that the department would have terminated them if they had not resigned,” he said.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said she was “deeply concerned and outraged at what happened.”

“We see a person clearly distressed, asking for water, asking for help asking for their nanny,” said Romero, referring to the Spanish word for grandmother.

Magnus said the video was “very difficult” to watch and extended “our deepest condolences to Mr. Ingram-Lopez’s family.”

The case has been referred to the Pima County District Attorney’s Office, but no decisions have been made on criminal charges, but the case is still under review, Magnus said. Magnus also said that he had asked the FBI to review the case.

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Meanwhile, Romero said he will propose some reforms to the Tucson Police Department. Romero said he wants to make sure that the police immediately notify the mayor, city council and the community of any deaths in police custody.

“It is simply not acceptable that both the mayor and the council and the public have not been notified of this event after the incident,” said Romero.

Magnus said the delay by senior police and city officials in watching the video was the result of “lack of communication.” He also said that the public notification process could also have been affected by the onset of the most intense part of the coronavirus pandemic.

“But I realize that, given the time we are in, any such mistake is viewed with great suspicion and contributes to a lack of trust in the police,” Magnus said, before offering to resign.

Magnus said the department has instituted a policy that requires at least two chiefs to watch videos related to any deaths in custody within 48 hours.

Romero said he did not know that Magnus would offer to resign before the press conference and did not say whether Magnus’s resignation would be accepted. City officials noted that the city manager would potentially remove him, not the mayor.

However, Romero said Magnus has been “a great police chief for the city of Tucson.”