CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two weeks after a man suffered a heart attack in CMPD custody and later died, Chief Kerr Putney announced the department is changing its policy for observing people in their care.
Starting immediately, Putney said that people in CMPD custody will be in “continual observation” either in-person or by video monitoring.
Putney stated that the department had several different policies depending on whether the person was in the process of being arrested or in custody in an interview room at a substation.
“Because of the way the policies are structured it’s a bit too complex for practical application by our troops,” Putney said.
Previously Putney says the policy was for officers to check on people in interview rooms every fifteen minutes.
“Can you say at this point whether officers were following that policy accurately and closely in this situation?” Investigative reporter David Hodges asked Putney.
“What I can tell you is that is a part of the internal investigation,” Putney said.
“Anecdotally do you know if officers are following that carefully because obviously sometimes policies are policies and actions can be something else,” Hodges asked Putney.
“I’m blessed to have been a cop and back when I was on the street because I can tell you I never started a stop watch, I wasn’t that specific,” Putney said.
“I want consistent continual observation throughout so there’s no need to have a minute or a time stamp it is you’re doing it the whole time.”
Putney says their policy already calls for officers to call medic if someone in custody is having a medical emergency and he did say that when officers were “acutely aware of Easter’s medical condition they did everything in their power to render aid.”