Man dies in Florence police custody; investigation underway

FLORENCE, Ala. – An investigation is on-going after a Lauderdale County man died while in police custody. The death happened in Florence early Saturday morning, and an outside law enforcement agency is leading the investigation.

Investigators with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office said Florence Police made a routine traffic stop just off Cloverdale Road around 1 A.M. Saturday.

Lieutenant Brad Potts with the sheriff’s office said when officers checked, the 22-year-old male driver had several outstanding warrants and he was taken into custody.

According to Lieutenant Potts, when the arresting officer got the man to the detention center he started showing signs of a drug overdose.

The Lauderdale County Detention Center nurse had police take him to ECM Hospital for treatment. The man was pronounced dead at 3:56 A.M. on Saturday.

Law enforcement are not releasing the man’s name at this point, as the investigation is still underway.

Lieutenant Potts did say, there was no signs of a physical altercation with Florence police.

During a phone call with Florence Police on Monday, Deputy Chief Tim Shaddix said the arresting officer was placed on administrative leave after the death. He has since been cleared to return to work.

The body of the man who died has been sent to state forensics for autopsy. Investigators hope to learn more about what may have caused the death when results come back.