**Please note that the information set forth below is based on the evidence known at this point in the ongoing use of force investigation.** Earlier this morning LAPD Chief Charlie Beck requested the Los Angeles County Coroner to remove its “security hold” on the autopsy report for Omar Figueroa Abrego. The report sets forth the Coroner’s anatomic findings on the death of Abrego who was involved in an altercation with LAPD officers during his arrest on August 2, 2014. Abrego later died at the hospital from the effects of cocaine. The LAPD had requested a security hold to have sufficient time to locate and interview witnesses to the incident who were not influenced by public reports of the coroner’s findings. After searching for and interviewing witnesses, the LAPD has determined that it is appropriate to request a release of the security hold at this time. August 2, 2014 Incident and Coroner’s Findings On August 2, 2014 at approximately 5:45 p.m., Newton Area Gang Enforcement Detail sergeants were flagged down by a community member and directed to a suspicious white vehicle with no plates in a nearby alley. As the sergeants searched the area, they observed a white cargo van driving erratically and at a high rate of speed. They also observed the vehicle nearly hit a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk and continue driving recklessly. The vehicle stopped in the 6900 block of South Main Street when the suspect (later identified as Omar Abrego) exited the vehicle and attempted to flee. The sergeants chased Abrego on foot and attempted to take him into custody. Abrego physically resisted and was eventually taken into custody with the assistance of responding officers.
Abrego sustained abrasions and a 1-1/2″ laceration on his forehead during the altercation. He was subsequently transported to a local hospital where he died at approximately 5:10 a.m. the next morning.
The Coroner’s Autopsy Report concludes that Abrego’s bizarre behavior and agitation during the incident was the result of cocaine intoxication and that his death was caused from the effects of cocaine. The report also states that his physical and emotional duress while being taken into custody was a contributing condition but not related to the immediate cause of death.
On-going Investigation The LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division, Office of the Inspector General and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, continue to investigate the incident and seek the public’s help in providing any information that could assist in determining the facts of the case. Once the investigation is completed, the case will be considered by the L.A. District Attorney’s Office and the Board of Police Commissioners. The civilian members of the Board of Police Commissioners will make the final determination whether the use of force was consistent with LAPD’s policy. LAPD Continues to Seek the Public’s Assistance to provide any information about the incident and urges anyone with information about this incident to call Force Investigation Division at (213) 486-5230 or the Office of the Inspector General 213-482-6833 or the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.