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Pima County Attorney: No charges for officers over in-custody death

Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez died while in custody of Tucson Police officers earlier this year
27-year-old Carlos "Adrian" Ingram Lopez died in police custody April 21.
Posted at 12:55 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 22:17:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Tucson Police officers who responded to an incident where a man later died will not be charged with a crime.

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall announced her decision in a news release Monday, which included a 14-page letter to Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus detailing prosecutors' conclusions.

Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez, 27, died on April 21. Police responded to a disturbance call at a home near Golf Links and Houghton Roads where they found Ingram-Lopez behaving erratically. Officers Samuel Routledge, Ryan Starbuck and Jonathan Jackson -- who resigned from TPD as the Department was preparing to fire then -- restrained Ingram-Lopez on the floor of the garage in the home. Eventually, he stopped breathing.

When paramedics arrived at the scene a short time later, they pronounced Ingram-Lopez dead.

RELATED: Report details TPD officer misconduct in death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez

In her letter to Chief Magnus Monday, LaWall said her office had reviewed the details of the case including an autopsy report, a toxicology report, body-worn camera footage of the incident, witness statements, reports from other officers at the scene and much more.

Ultimately, LaWall says there was not sufficient evidence to charge the officers with a crime in the incident.

"Under Arizona Law, A.R.S. § 13-409, a law enforcement officer is authorized to use physical force in making an arrest if a reasonable person would believe physical force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or prevent escape, the officer makes known the purpose of the arrest, and a reasonable person would believe the arrest to be lawful," the letter says.

Read Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall's full letter to TPD Chief Magnus

The report says it’s not clear beyond a reasonable doubt the officers meant to hurt or kill Ingram-Lopez. The report also says the autopsy does not prove beyond doubt that the officers actions were deadly.

The report says, “To the extent there is a suspicion that the officers' conduct may have been a factor resulting in Mr. Ingram-Lopez' death, mere suspicion, however reasonable, is insufficient.”

Attorney Mike Storie represents the three former officers.

He says, “You can do bad things, negligent things and not cause injury to someone here. This person was headed down a bad road health wise anyways, that the fact that the officers did not act per policy, did not cause his death.”

But the officers and the city are under the threat of two lawsuits from Ingram-Lopez family that together ask for a total of 46 million dollars in damages.

The attorney for Ingram-Lopez mother says she was heartbroken about the ruling against criminal charges.

Eduardo Coronado says, “She just can't understand how. After reviewing the video that we've all seen that. Now her question to me was this. If I, if I had done this. I think I would have been arrested and charged. So, if that's the case for me. Why isn't that the case for anybody else, or the police.”

Attorney Ted Schmidt is representing Ingram-Lopez two-year-old daughter. He says the evidence still supports negligent homicide. Schmidt says he has an expert ready to refute the government’s claim cocaine contributed to the death.

“In fact my medical toxicologist will testify that it is extremely unusual for anybody to die from a cocaine overdose.”

Schmidt says the death was from how police held Ingram-Lopez .

He says he thinks the city will offer his client a settlement. Otherwise he can sue.