Police Lie About Death of Man in Custody

Police Lie About Death of Man in Custody October 10, 2012

Here’s another one of those depressingly unsurprising stories about a man dying during an arrest and the police lying about what caused his death. In this case, the police claimed the man died from choking on drugs while they were putting him in custody; the coroner now says he died from blunt force trauma:

The state medical examiner has determined that an East Baltimore man’s death in police custody last month was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma, an account that conflicts with earlier assertions that he died from choking on drugs.

A copy of the autopsy report provided by the family of Anthony Anderson, 46, showed that he suffered fractures to eight ribs, contusions to his left lung and a ruptured spleen.

The determination that Anderson died by homicide means the death was caused by another person, though it does not speak to intent, or whether the death was an accident. Police and prosecutors were investigating the circumstances to determine whether officers acted improperly during the arrest, and declined to comment in detail.

It has yet to be determined what happened, but this is exactly why every single police officer should have video and audio recording equipment on their uniforms and in their cars at all times. Not one single interaction between a police officer and another person while they’re on the job should be unrecorded. Because we know now, after years of cell phone and surveillance videos, that officers routinely lie on reports — especially if they might be implicated in misconduct or abuse.

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