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Parolee dies in back of Sacramento police wagon

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A parolee died in a Sacramento police officer's patrol wagon Wednesday, the Police Department said in a news release.

Parole agents had taken the deceased, identified as a black person in his 30s, into custody before he stopped moving in the back of the patrol wagon and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to police.

The incident occurred at about 1:45 p.m. when officers in the patrol wagon, which responds to calls involving intoxicated people or homeless-related matters, were on an unrelated call at the Volunteers of America Detoxification Center on North Fifth Street. Parole agents from the state Department of Corrections approached the officers in the wagon and requested a marked police vehicle to transport a man in custody to jail, the Police Department said.

The man "was handcuffed and laying on the floor," police said. An officer and parole agents helped him stand up, walked him to the rear of the patrol wagon, placed him inside and began to drive. The parole agents followed in another vehicle.

As the wagon approached the jail, an officer using video monitoring equipment noticed that he had stopped moving. When the officer parked in the jail entry and checked on the man, he was unresponsive, authorities said. The officer called for emergency aid and administered CPR along with the parole agent until the Fire Department arrived and took over medical care, police said. The man was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Homicide detectives, internal affairs and crime scene investigation units have begun a death-in-custody investigation of the incident, police said. Under department protocol, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office and the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability also are involved in the investigation, the Police Department said.

Because of a Sacramento City Council policy relating to police use of force, the video and audio associated with the incident will be made available online within 30 days, police said.

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