Update: No charges against Charlotte officers in custody death of man

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Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 3:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina prosecutor says five Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers will not face prosecution for the death of a man in custody earlier this year.

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather III said in a report Monday that prosecutors could not file involuntary manslaughter charges  against the officers.  He said prosecutors would not be able to prove that Harold Easter would have lived even with immediate medical attention after eating a large amount of crack cocaine.

Authorities say Easter ate a large amount of cocaine during a low-speed pursuit after officers conducting a drug investigation tried to pull  him over in January.

Five Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers have been recommended for termination for their handling of a man who died after being taken into custody earlier this year.

At a press conference Friday, Police Chief Johnny Jennings said the four officers and a sergeant had knowledge that the man, 46-year-old Harold Easter, had swallowed cocaine during his arrest but left him unattended in an interview room for more than 20 minutes.

Easter suffered a medical emergency while in custody and died two days after his arrest in January. Local prosecutors are still considering possible criminal charges in Easter’s death.

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