CMPD Chief: 4 officers, sergeant cited for termination following in-custody death of Harold Easter

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings announced on Friday that four officers and one sergeant have been cited for termination following the in-custody death of Harold Jermaine Easter earlier this year.

The Charlotte man had been arrested on Jan. 23, 2020 for possession of marijuana and cocaine.

Detectives said while he was being interviewed and processed at the jail he experienced a serious medical emergency. Police said their initial investigation revealed Easter had lost consciousness.

According to Chief Jennings, the five officers involved had “intimate knowledge that Easter had swallowed cocaine during the traffic stop” and was “left unattended inside an interview room for more than 20 minutes.”

Jennings said Easter was “clearly in need of medical attention while left in the interview room.”

Back in January, CMPD said officers gave medical aid to Easter and called for Medic. Easter was rushed to the hospital for treatment where he died days later, authorities said.

The NC State Bureau of Investigation was called in earlier this year to determine what led to the death of Easter after being arrested by CMPD. The five officers involved were placed on administrative leave in January, as is standard procedure, CMPD said.

Below is a list of members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept. related to the incident:

–    Sergeant Nicolas Vincent was hired on January 28, 2008, and is assigned to the Metro Division.
–    Officer Brentley Vinson was hired on July 21, 2014, and is assigned to the Metro Division.
–    Officer Michael Benfield was hired on October 27, 2014, and is assigned to the Metro Division.
–    Officer Michael Joseph was hired on May 21, 2018, and is assigned to the Metro Division.
–    Officer Shon Sheffield was hired on August 13, 2012, and is assigned to the Metro Division.

Family and friends have called for transparency into the death investigation.

“Moving forward the only thing we going to do is make sure we get justice. We’re calling for an FBI investigation on behalf of this family and on behalf of Jermaine and his death,” a family spokesperson said back in January.

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