Virginia Police Officers Cleared in Death of Man Who Died of Overdose in Custody

The six Virginia police officers involved in the arrest of a man who died of an opioid overdose while in custody have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Dramatic body camera footage shows Fairfax County police officers entering 31-year-old Christopher Paul's home in Alexandria in June as they responded to call for a possible overdose.

They found Paul naked and in distress.

Officers can be heard on the video trying to calm Paul down.

When he fell to the ground, officers rushed in to subdue him and place handcuffs and leg restraints on him.

“They followed our training and did everything they could to save this young man’s life,” Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said.

He said paramedics were not allowed in the house to treat Paul until after police secured him.

“It’s unfortunate that he died from an opioid overdose, but these are the perils that we are facing as law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel,” Roessler said.

Once paramedics got to Paul they administered NARCAN, the drug used to block the deadly effects of opioids, to try to save him.

Roessler said at the time of the incident, his officers were not equipped with the life-saving drug.

He said three of the six officers on the scene that day were certified in crisis intervention.

Roessler’s goal is to get all 1,500 officers trained.

Of the 1,500 sworn officers, 443 have crisis intervention training, and 387 are equipped with NARCAN.

Paul’s family has not responded to request for comment.

All six officers involved have been returned to active duty.

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