Crime - Sacto 911

Meth overdose caused death of man in Sacramento police custody, autopsy finds

Brandon Smith, who died in Sacramento police custody June 6, died from a methamphetamine overdose, according to the autopsy report released by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office on Wednesday.

The autopsy also found a plastic baggie in Smith's stomach that had been "disrupted" and emptied of its contents.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that in high doses can elevate body temperature and cause convulsions and cardiovascular collapse, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Smith was being transported from the Volunteers of America Detoxification Center to the Sacramento County jail by Sacramento police officers when he died in the back of a police transport wagon. Smith had been taken into custody for parole violation of "admitted use of illegal drugs," and corrections officers asked Sacramento police to take Smith to the jail on charges of public intoxication and parole violation, Sgt. Vance Chandler, department spokesman, said to The Sacramento Bee.

Smith was handcuffed and lying facedown on the floor when the officer arrived.

In a 24-minute body cam video released by the Sacramento Police Department on June 13, Smith is heard grunting, yelling and saying "I'm f----- up. I feel like I'm having a heart attack. Oh my god."

As he was hoisted into the back of the truck, Smith fell onto the metal floor.

The forensic pathologist noted Smith had small areas on his upper and lower back where he had been bleeding under the skin, but there were no rib fractures or internal torso injuries

According to the report, Smith had numerous abrasions on his forehead, cheek and upper lip. There is no evidence of neck compression or asphyxia.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM

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