Tucson police chief offers resignation over death of man in custody

The chief of police in Tucson, Ariz., offered his resignation during a news conference Wednesday after it was reported a day earlier that a 27-year-old man had died while in custody.

Local news affiliate Fox 10 reported that Chris Magnus's resignation will have to be accepted by the Tucson City Council and city manager, while three officers involved in the incident have resigned.

The situation centers around the April 21 arrest and subsequent death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez, a Hispanic male who Magnus said was placed face down on the ground while handcuffed and apparently suffering from cardiac arrest due to a cocaine overdose. Officers also apparently placed a yellow blanket over Ingram-Lopez's head and body while he was face down, completely covering him.

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The incident violated department policy, Magnus reportedly said Wednesday, and would have resulted in the officers' firing had they not resigned. Video of the incident reportedly shows Ingram-Lopez crying and repeatedly asking for water before losing consciousness.

At Wednesday's press conference, Magnus said that the officers “committed multiple policy violations and failed to handle the incident consistent with their training.”

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) has yet to make a decision on Magnus's offer to resign and praised his service in a statement to Fox 10 while saying she would consider his choice.

News of Ingram-Lopez's death comes amid protests around the country over the police death of George Floyd and other Black Americans and calls from many for reform to law enforcement, particularly around use of force.