South Los Angeles: On July 14, 2023, around 2:30 p.m., 77th Street Division plain clothes Narcotics Enforcement Detail officers were conducting a narcotics investigation when they detained a male, later identified as Derrick Harden at Vermont Avenue and 71st Street.
During their investigation, it was discovered Harden was in possession of a crystalline substance resembling methamphetamine and additionally had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. Harden was transported to 77th Street station and booked at 77th Street Jail. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Harden was examined by 77th Street Jail dispensary medical staff who determined Harden would require additional medical treatment for exposure to methamphetamine and a preexisting medical condition.
Harden was subsequently transported by officers to a local hospital where he was examined by emergency room physicians and medically cleared for booking. On July 15, 2023, just after midnight, Harden was transported back to 77th Street Jail and housed in a single-person cell. Around 11:44 a.m., that day, Harden stood up from his bottom bunk bed, walked over to the cell toilet and collapsed on the floor. He remained on the floor until he was discovered by Jail personnel. Jail personnel and medical dispensary staff were immediately summoned to Harden’s cell and began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life saving measures.
The Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics responded and took over Harden’s care. Harden did not respond and was pronounced deceased. Representatives from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner responded to the scene and took possession of the body.
Force Investigation Division investigators responded to the scene and are investigating this incident.