Tuscon Police Chief Offers to Resign After Video Shows Death of Man in Police Custody

NBC News reports the police chief in Tucson, Arizona, offered his resignation Wednesday upon the public release of a video showing the death of a 27-year-old man in police custody.

Mayor Regina Romero said in a statement Thursday that she believes Chief Chris Magnus should not resign, instead praising him for bringing forward “thinking changes” to his department.

“After listening to the feedback of my colleagues on the Council, I do not believe the Chief should resign,” she said.

The mayor said that, in any case, it would be up to the city manager to accept any resignation.

Magnus’ offer to resign came at a news conference two days after a video of the in-custody death was shown to the Tucson City Council.

Magnus said at the news conference that police had failed to disclose the death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez on April 21 in a timely manner, even though the department had been investigating the incident.

He said Ingram-Lopez’s grandmother had called police about 1 a.m. April 21 “and told the police operator that her grandson was drunk, yelling and running around the house naked.”

“When the officers arrived at the house. Mr. Carlos Ingram-Lopez ran from them into a dark enclosed garage where the officers ordered him to the floor, handcuffed him behind his back and placed him in a prone position, which means they placed him face-down,” the chief said.

Magnus also told reporters that Ingram-Lopez “had committed domestic violence against a significant other and disorderly conduct involving his family two days prior to his grandmother calling police.”

The video released by police Wednesday shows Ingram-Lopez frantically running around a dark garage before officers handcuff him. The video quality is low because of poor lighting, but Ingram-Lopez can be heard thrashing, asking for water numerous times and whimpering as he lay face-down on the ground.

An internal investigation report from the department recommended that the three men who responded, lead officer Jonathan Jackson, officer Samuel Routledge, and officer Ryan Starbuck, be terminated. The officers resigned before the internal investigation concluded.