6 Fairfax County Officers on Leave After Unarmed Man Dies in Custody

Six officers have been placed on administrative leave after a man died while in police custody, Fairfax County police say. 

Officers were called to the 4300 block of Mission Court in the Alexandria section of the county Tuesday afternoon for a report of an overdose. Police say the 911 caller was a relative who had been struck in the head by 31-year-old Christopher Paul.

Officers found Paul inside the home, naked and "possibly experiencing a mental health crisis," according to a statement released by police Wednesday. 

As the officers tried to de-escalate the situation, Paul caused himself to fall to the floor in an effort to harm himself, Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler said at a news conference Wednesday. 

No physical use of force or weapons were being used against Paul at the time, Roessler said. 

The officers, who Roessler says were trained in crisis intervention and mental health awareness, restrained Paul using handcuffs and a restraining device on his legs. 

Once Paul was restrained, paramedics were allowed to enter the home, Roessler said. As medics were assessing him, Paul experienced a medical emergency. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 


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Roessler said the officers were wearing body cameras at the time, but the footage will not be released just yet. 

Six officers who responded to the scene have been placed on routine administrative leave pending the criminal and administrative investigations, police said.

Once the criminal investigation is complete, the case will be presented to the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Roessler siad he was confident that officers did not use physical force or weapons while restaraining Paul.

An autopsy will determine Paul's cause of death. 

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