Texas Man Dies in Police Custody, Investigation Underway

The death of Jonathan Rose Eddens in El Paso police custody sparks multiple investigations, raising questions about use of force and accountability.

author-image
Wojciech Zylm
New Update
Texas Man Dies in Police Custody, Investigation Underway

Texas Man Dies in Police Custody, Investigation Underway

The death of Jonathan Rose Eddens, a 35-year-old man from El Paso, Texas, while in police custody on April 14, 2023, has sparked multiple investigations. Police were responding to reports of Eddens walking in and out of traffic in the Chamizal neighborhood when the incident occurred.

Cellphone video captured by a witness shows officers struggling with Eddens on the sidewalk before taking him into custody. Eddens was transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The exact cause of his death remains undetermined pending the outcome of the investigations.

The El Paso Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit, Internal Affairs division, and the Texas Rangers are all conducting separate inquiries into the circumstances surrounding Eddens' death. Authorities have not yet released the officers' body camera footage of the encounter.

According to jail records, Eddens had a history of arrests dating back to 2009, including convictions for drug possession, theft, burglary, and assault. However, the specific reasons for the police confrontation on April 14 have not been disclosed.

The incident bears similarities to the 2019 death of Darren Boykin, a 23-year-old man who died in police custody in Texarkana, Texas. Body camera video in that case showed officers ignoring Boykin's repeated complaints that he couldn't breathe. Boykin's mother has filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations and lack of medical attention.

Why this matters: The death of Jonathan Rose Eddens while in police custody raises questions about the use of force and the handling of individuals with a history of arrests. The incident highlights the need for thorough and transparent investigations to determine if proper protocols were followed and to ensure accountability.

In a statement, the El Paso Police Department expressed its commitment to a thorough and transparent investigation. "We are working closely with the Texas Rangers and our Internal Affairs division to gather all the facts and evidence related to this incident," the statement read. "As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot provide further details at this time. However, we remain committed to transparency and will provide updates as more information becomes available."

Key Takeaways

  • Jonathan Rose Eddens, 35, died in El Paso police custody on April 14, 2023.
  • Cellphone video shows officers struggling with Eddens before his arrest and transport to hospital.
  • Investigations by El Paso PD, Internal Affairs, and Texas Rangers are ongoing, no cause of death yet.
  • Eddens had a history of arrests, but reasons for the police confrontation are unknown.
  • The incident raises questions about use of force and handling of individuals with arrest history.