The Hamilton County, Ohio, coroner could say today what caused the death of a 350-pound man who died after a violent confrontation with Cincinnati police Sunday in a fast-food parking lot, the Cincinnati Enquirer says. Dr. Carl Parrott Jr. is expected to determine how much cocaine and PCP Nathaniel Jones, 41, had in his system when he died. Parrott said .36 grams of powder cocaine and three cigarettes dipped in PCP – known as angel dust – were found in Jones’ car. Jones also had a history of hypertension.
“He was a big man with a bad heart,” the coroner said.
Chief Tom Streicher unequivocally defended his officers amid renewed calls for his resignation. Streicher said the six officers, at least two of whom were pulled to the ground by Jones, are trained to view such a struggle as “an armed engagement” because they no longer have total control over their weapons. A group of black ministers described the incident as “torture.”
Other details emerged yesterday as investigators from at least six agencies looked into the incident:
• Officers used both chemical irritant and pepper spray on Jones.
• A Taser – which administers an electrical current meant to disable a suspect temporarily – was not an option because the department took them off the streets after finding them ineffective.
• Officers are trained to use their batons, called PR-24s, as jabbing tools to cause pain and force a suspect’s compliance.