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Prosecutor files charges against officer and two EMTs after suspect dies in custody

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A Michigan man died in police custody last winter after reportedly overdosing on a substance- despite the fact that he denied ingesting drugs.

Now, the Westland Police officer in charge during the incident will be facing charges.

After Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy announced Monday that charges would be brought against WPD Sergeant Ronald Buckley and two Paramedics, Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik issued a statement on the matter.

“The charges today against the City of Westland police officer are taken seriously by the department and the City administration,” Jedrusik wrote. “The officer charged today has been suspended pending the Departmental investigation and discipline. We will provide the police union the necessary notice of our intention to conduct and finalize our investigation into this matter. After the investigation, we will take the necessary discipline up to and including termination of the officer.”

Chief Jedrusik added that the “Westland Police Department has implemented changes to department’s policies and procedures regarding prisoner incarceration. The Department has provided additional training to its employees and will continue to do so to ensure that something like this never happens again.”

According to Click On Detroit, the incident surrounds the December 2017 death of William Marshall, who is believed to have ingested drugs after being arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession during a traffic stop , began convulsing while in Buckley’s care at the jail.

Two Paramedics were dispatched to assist, but were allegedly told by Buckley to stand down. Now, all three face charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office.

Prior to his death, Marshall had denied ingesting any drugs, even after a white powdered substance had been spotted on the corner of his mouth (which he claim was from a powdered doughnut).

After arriving at the Westland jail, Marshall began convulsing, having muscle spasms and lost his ability to walk.

Paramedics were dispatched to the jail, where Sergeant Buckley was supervising the convulsing Marshall. Dragging him into the hallway from his cell, the Paramedics observed Marshall and eventually left after it was determined Marshall should be returned to his cell.

Sergeant Buckley eventually noticed Marshall was still in a bad state, but continued about his shift. Later, Marshall was found motionless and Buckley ordered other officers to pull Marshall into the hall, where defibrillation and CPR was initiated.

Around an hour-and-a-half after they had first been dispatched to the jail, the Paramedics returned to take Marshall to the hospital. His cause of death was determined to be from cocaine toxicity, despite having denied ingesting any substance other than that of a powdered doughnut.

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