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Investigation into fatal police incidents involving restraint

UTEP Police Department

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- ABC-7 spoke with Ryan Foley, one of the Associated Press writers who worked on the longform piece "Lethal Restraint." The project dove into incidents involving police officers across the United States, and people who died after being subdued by police.

Foley stated that there were several cases they researched that had gotten no media coverage prior to their report.

"There's more of those deaths than the public knows about," said Foley.

One of the cases involved in the AP's work was the death of 36-year-old Ray Adrian Lara, who was encountered by UTEP police on July 28th, 2020. Lara died after his interaction with police.

In the Texas Rangers Investigation Report, given to ABC-7 by the Associated Press, the El Paso County Medical Examiner Mario Rascon stated the cause of death as "Acute Methamphetamine Toxicity" and the other significant contributing condition was "Physiological Stress Associated with Physical Restraint". The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

ABC-7 is in the process of gathering more information and insight into what the ME's findings mean. We are also speaking to Foley in an attempt to better understand the investigations into cases like Lara's.

The report from the Texas Rangers also stated that the case was declined by the El Paso County District Attorney's Office.

As part of their report, AP journalists, including Foley, sent out open record requests and compiled a list of more than 1,000 police incidents involving restraint.

You can read more about how reporters compiled this list here.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Sam Harasimowicz

Sam Harasimowicz is a reporter, producer and one of the anchors of ABC-7’s weekend evening news programs


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