TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — An investigation is underway after a man died while in police custody at Northport DCH early Saturday morning.
In a press release from the Tuscaloosa Police Department, it states Kendrell Watkins, 31, died at the hospital at 2:57 a.m.
A patrol officer responded to a call of property damage to a home in the Cherrystone neighborhood on Friday night just after 11 p.m. Police say the family member that called also reported that Watkins was “losing it.”
An hour later, a woman reported that a man was half-dressed in the empty parking lot of a shopping center off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The man was later identified as Watkins, police learned. Patrol officers approached him and asked if he needed assistance. He said he did not and ran away.
He ran naked into the intersection of 15th Street and Martin Luth King Jr. Boulevard. In an attempt to stop him, Tuscaloosa PD officers used a taser to take him down.
Watkins was hospitalized after.
Tuscaloosa police report that Watkins was conscious and alert when medical personnel arrived about seven minutes later and treated him at the scene before transporting him to the Northport DCH to be checked for any complications.
Watkins became unresponsive at the hospital and was pronounced dead.
The cause of death is under investigation by members of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.
Tuscaloosa police said both of the patrol officers involved will remain on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
Tuscaloosa police concluded the press release stating that after consulting with Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb, they will make body camera footage from the incident available to the public.
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