Henderson police call use of force justified in arrest of man who died in custody
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) - A departmental investigation cleared patrol officers and a sergeant who were involved in the arrest of a man who died almost a week later from complications of a broken collarbone after falling when he was shocked with a stun gun, police in the southern Nevada city of Henderson said Monday.
In a video statement that included maps, 911 audio and video clips from vehicles and officers’ body-worn cameras, Deputy Henderson Police Chief Jonathan Boucher said, “the use of force was justified and the officers acted in accordance with case law, policy and training.”
The announcement came less than three weeks after the department announced its investigation of the March 27 death of Ronald Lee Winborne, 53.
The Clark County coroner on May 10 ruled Winborne’s death “a homicide due to the use of force during his initial arrest,” with high blood pressure and liver disease listed as complicating factors. Winborne’s hometown was not made public.
An investigation by the Clark County district attorney’s office is pending. District Attorney Steve Wolfson did not immediately respond to email and text messages about the Henderson police announcement.
An unidentified 911 caller who was apparently an off-duty law enforcer described Winborne waving a knife at his vehicle and others late March 21 near a Henderson city park.
Police said Winborne “pointed” the knife at an officer before running away, being shocked with a stun gun and falling heavily to the sidewalk. At least three officers are seen on video leaning knees against Winborne while forcing his hands to his back to be handcuffed. A police report said officers found Winborne had a 7-inch butter knife.
Winborne was arrested at on charges including assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and resisting arrest.
Police said Winborne was treated by Henderson Fire Department paramedics before he was taken to the Henderson Detention Center and he was then taken to a Henderson hospital before being returned to the city jail.
Almost a week later, on March 27, “Winborne’s health began to decline,” Boucher said, and he was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he died.
Henderson, adjacent to Las Vegas, is Nevada’s second-largest city with more than 320,000 residents.
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