Investigation reveals man in Lansing Police custody died of drug overdose

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Police say a man who was in custody in the Lansing Police Department lock-up facility died of a drug overdose.

An internal review board examined the death of Christopher Phillips, who died back on April 27.

Phillips was arrested on April 27 for speeding and driving with a suspended license.

Police questioned Phillips as to whether he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The investigation revealed Phillips was under the influence, even though he appeared sober. Police provided Phillips with several sandwiches before taking him to a holding cell. Phillips had been in the holding cell for 39 minutes before video shows him falling to the floor, immediately getting up and then lying down on the floor.

An officer found Phillips unresponsive two hours and six minutes later. Within seven minutes the Lansing Fire Department arrived and took Phillips to Sparrow Hospital. Phillips was pronounced dead at 5:44 p.m., 26 minutes after being taken to Sparrow Hospital.

The investigation revealed that the Lansing Police Department performed all duties as outlined in their policies and procedures. Had Phillips told police he was under the influence, police say their in-custody care response would have been different.

Phillips died from ingesting multiple drugs, according to the investigation.

Michigan State Police conducted their own investigation and then turned the case over to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.

There will be no criminal charges in this case, as decided by Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III.

In response to Phillips death, Sparrow Hospital provided Lansing detention staff with drug intoxication training.

Read the rest of the investigation report here: Christopher Phillips death investigation

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