Man Dies after Being Arrested for Drinking in Public NR09340rf

July 15, 2009

Los Angeles: Last month, a man who developed breathing problems after he’d been arrested for drinking in public was transferred to a local hospital where he later died.

On June 5, 2009, at about 12:45 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Central Division officers who were part of a vice unit task force arrested 60-year-old Fredrick Johnson in the vicinity of San Julian and 7th Streets for drinking in public.  He was then transported to the LAPD’s jail at Parker Center where he was booked and incarcerated.

The next day, June 6, at around 10:30 a.m., Johnson complained of difficulty breathing, so he was taken to the jail dispensary for medical treatment.  However, his condition worsened, and a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance was summoned to transport him to the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center where he received additional medical attention.  

On July 13, after being continuously unconscious on life-support systems for over a month, Johnson was pronounced dead.  

The LAPD Force Investigation Division had responded to the inmate at the jail on June 6 and initiated an in-custody death investigation.  In their findings, investigators determined that no reportable force was used while decedent Johnson was in police custody.