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No Charges Against Charlotte Officers In Custody Death Of Man


Five Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers will not face prosecution for their handling of a man who died after being taken into custody earlier this year, a prosecutor said Monday.

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather III said in a report to the State Bureau of Investigation that prosecutors could not file involuntary manslaughter charges against the officers because they would not be able to prove that Harold Easter, after eating a large amount of crack cocaine, would have lived even if he had received immediate medical attention.

Officers who were conducting a drug investigation against Easter, 41, tried to conduct a traffic stop on the car he was driving on Jan. 23. Authorities say that during a low-speed pursuit, Easter at a large amount of crack cocaine, and that he continued to eat, or try to eat, cocaine as he struggled with an officer during his arrest.

Easter suffered a medical emergency in a police interview room and died three days later.

At a press conference Friday, Police Chief Johnny Jennings said the four officers and a sergeant had been cited for termination.

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