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‘He’s coming down off drugs’: Man hitting himself in the head with trash can lid dies in police custody: Police bodycam

Phoenix police detain a man who later died while in custody on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023.

Phoenix police detain a man who died while in custody on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023. (Phoenix Police Department)

A criminal and administrative investigation has been launched into the actions of five police officers who detained a man who died in custody after a 911 caller said he was out of control and coming down off drugs at an inpatient facility in Phoenix.

The incident occurred on Feb. 11 when Phoenix police got a 911 call of a man acting erratic and breaking property inside an inpatient facility.

“Conclusions about whether the officers’ actions are consistent with Department policy and the law will not be made until all facts are known and the investigation is complete,” said Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Brian Bower in a video of the incident released Friday.

The police video includes police bodycam video and audio and the 911 call.

“We had a crisis situation,” a facility employee said. “We have a client that is just out of control.

“He’s throwing, hitting stuff. He’s breaking everything.”

“He’s coming down off drugs, so he’s a little bit delusional.”

Police body cameras captured some of the drama as the man used a trash can lid to hit himself in the head. Police said in the video that the lens is fixed and does not capture everything seen or experienced by officers.

“Do you want us to help you?” an officer said.

It’s difficult to hear what the man tells officers throughout, but he did not appear to respond to the officers’ repeated questions in the video clip made available by police.

“You look like you’re stuck. You want us to take that?

“It looks heavy. Let me get that for you now.”

The officers try to take the lid from the man, but the man does not let go.

“It’s heavy. You have to be careful.”

Police detained the man, but he began having a medical emergency, police said, without elaborating. The man, who was not identified, was described as 40 with a medium build.

The man, whose face is blurred in the video, gasps while officers pin him to the ground and cuff him.

The man is put into the back of an ambulance, where police said he became critical. His restraints were removed, police said, and paramedics tried to save him, but he died at the hospital.

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