No Criminal Charges for Tucson Officers Over Man’s Death in Their Custody

No Criminal Charges for Tucson Officers Over Man’s Death in Their Custody


“I think there is enough there” for a criminal charge, he said. “But what can you do?”

The family plans to file a civil suit against the city of Tucson, the Police Department and the three officers who first arrived at the scene, Mr. Coronado said. The family is seeking $27 million in damages, he said.

“What kind of signal does this send to the community?” Mr. Coronado asked. He feared that some people would come away thinking that “if we call the police, nothing good is going to happen.”

In the report, the Pima County Attorney’s Office said its investigation looked at potential criminality, not civil liability issues or possible violations of departmental policies. “The scope of our legal inquiry is narrow and limited,” the report said.

On April 21, police officers responded to a 911 call from Mr. Lopez’s grandmother, who said he was having a mental health crisis and yelling, intoxicated and running around the house naked, according to a news conference held in June by the Tucson police.

When officers arrived at the scene, Mr. Lopez ran into a garage, where the police handcuffed him and placed him in a facedown position for about 12 minutes, which was a policy violation, Chris Magnus, the Tucson police chief, said in June.

In body camera footage, which was released two months after Mr. Lopez’s death, he can be heard pleading for water at least a dozen times and calling out for his grandmother. The officers repeatedly told him to calm down and ignored his requests for water, and one officer threatened to use a Taser on him, according to the video.

Mr. Lopez’s face was covered by a mesh spit guard, and officers placed plastic blankets on his body. Later in the video, he stopped speaking and appeared to stop moving. He went into cardiac arrest and was declared dead at the scene by emergency medical officials, Chief Magnus said in June. Officers administered CPR and gave him two doses of Narcan before medics arrived.


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