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Phoenix police say suspect who died in custody had drugs in system

PHOENIX – Police in Phoenix said a suspect who recently died in their custody had drugs in his system and that a review of their procedures showed nothing improper in his arrest.

Alexander Brown, 49, was arrested early Oct. 6 after officers responded to reports of a fight at a convenience store near McDowell Road and 51st Avenue.

Body-cam footage recorded Brown from the time officers arrived and found him standing in a back corner of the store until paramedics arrived.

Police released the footage Tuesday evening.

ABC15 reported Brown’s sister, LaShan Pope-Herman, said he had picked up his wife, who works at the store, at 5 a.m. then returned 45 minutes later.

Sgt. Vince Lewis said in an email the day of the arrest that Brown had shoved customers and even locked the doors at one point.

He was behaving erratically and resisted arrest, police said, but they managed to handcuff him in the store and eventually get him inside a squad car.

Surveillance footage showed Brown was visibly upset, apologizing and repeatedly saying, “Help me, Jesus …”

An officer told him, “We’re going to help you.”

Once he was inside the unit, Brown began knocking his head against the car. Phoenix Fire Department medics were called.

Brown was unresponsive when he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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