Five CMPD Officers Placed On Administrative Leave After Suspect Dies In Police Custody

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Five CMPD officers have been placed on administrative leave after a suspect died following a medical emergency while in police custody, according to a news release.

Harold Easter, 41, was arrested after officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department say they saw him make a drug deal near the intersection of Whisnant Street and Burton Street on January 23rd.  Officers conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle a short time after the alleged drug deal.

Police say Easter had cocaine and marijuana in his possession.  He was taken into custody and then transported to the Metro Division team office for an interview and arrest processing, according to a news release.  During the process, Easter reportedly experienced a medical emergency and lost consciousness.  Officers administered medical aid and called MEDIC to the scene.

Police say Easter was transported to a local hospital where he died three days later.  Sergeant Nicolas Vincent, Officer Brentley Vinson, Officer Michael Benfield, Officer Michael Joseph, and Officer Shon Sheffield have all been placed on administrative leave to ensure their actions were consistent with the CMPD’s policies and procedures, according to a news release.

CMPD has requested that the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) conduct an independent investigation into the incident after consulting with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather and Easter’s family members.

After the investigation, the CMPD’s Internal Bureau will conduct a separate investigation to make sure CMPD policies and procedures were being followed during the incident.

No other details have been released at this time.  Check back for updates.