A New Jersey man arrested Tuesday morning has died in police custody, NBC 10 reports.
A witness says police were extremely physical with 32-year-old Phillip White during the arrest in Vineland around 11:00 a.m. Details surrounding his detainment remain a mystery. The Vineland Police Chief released a statement about White’s death Tuesday afternoon.
“As many of you have already heard, earlier today a tragedy occurred involving Officers and a citizen,” said Vineland Police Chief Timothy Codispoti.
“Sadly, this call for service resulted in an ‘in–custody, non-shooting death.’ I ask that everyone allow time for our justice system to now investigate this matter to its truthful conclusion. The Vineland Police Department is cooperating with the prosecutor’s office and I urge anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the prosecutor’s office with your information.”
Audio of the incident was leaked to the web after the family of White begged officers to release more information about the arrest.
#PhillipWhite: 32yo savagely beaten, tortured, mauled & killed while he was handcuffed by @VinelandPD. #Vineland#NJpic.twitter.com/gdpA0INb8h
— D (@Delo_Taylor) April 1, 2015
A man who witnessed the arrest claims White didn’t put up a fight, while an officer claimed the alleged suspect tried to disarm him.
“They punched him, stomped him, kicked him and then they let the dog out of the car,” said Ricardo Garcia. “The dog bit him on his face and around his body. There’s no call for that. Once a man is handcuffed and unconscious, you should have stuck him in the patrol car and take him to the police station. Instead they decided to beat him right here.”
The victim’s aunt Valerie White says her nephew lived a “street life,” but didn’t deserve to die. The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has announced they will look into White’s death.
SOURCE: NBC 10 | VIDEO CREDIT: NBC 10
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