Two Milwaukee officers charged in inmate overdose death
Keishon Thomas dies while in police custody and two officers, a year later, get charged with felony abuse of person in custody and misdemeanor misconduct in office, respectively.
Two Milwaukee police officers, Donald Krueger and Marco Lopez, have been charged, on Friday, in connection with the in-custody death of Keishon Thomas.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Krueger and Lopez were charged, separately, with felony abuse of a person in custody and misdemeanor misconduct in office, respectively.
On February 23, 2022, the two officers, according to the criminal complaint, arrested 21-year-old Thomas on a warrant and transported him to the Milwaukee Police Department's District 5.
The report noted, that according to the complaint, Thomas had told Krueger, while he was being booked, that he had ingested cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy and began to dry heave and sweat. Instead of calling the police, as he said he would, Krueger placed him in a cell.
As for Lopez, he was charged with misdemeanor misconduct because according to the jail cameras, he never conducted the 10 cell checks opposite to what he conveyed in his logs.
No one apparently realized Thomas was in distress until an officer checked on him just before 6 p.m. that evening. He was pronounced dead in his cell about 20 minutes later, according to the complaint.
"The Milwaukee Police Department holds all members to the highest degree of integrity and if any member violates the code of conduct they will be held accountable," a statement released by the department read, adding, "Our members must not discredit what this department stands for, particularly when taking an oath to preserve and protect life. The Milwaukee Police Department extends its deepest sympathies to the Thomas family on the loss of their loved one."
Press Release - Officer and Former Officer Criminally Charged in Connection to the In-custody Death of Keishon Thomas https://t.co/IQnx42OZdO— Milwaukee Police (@MilwaukeePolice) February 24, 2023
After the arrests, civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, representing the Thomas family, told CBS News that "Keishon's death could have been prevented if the officers who were responsible for him at the time of his arrest followed the protocol."
NEWS ALERT: @AttorneyCrump and attorney Steven Hart have issued a statement following the announcement that two Milwaukee Police Department officers involved in the February 2022 in-custody death of Keishon Thomas are facing criminal charges. pic.twitter.com/Kgxjqep7TQ— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) February 25, 2023
Read more: Memphis officers plead not guilty in Tyre Nichols' case, court pending