Olympia woman dies in police custody after given chemical restraint

Olympia woman dies in police custody after given chemical restraint

The Thurston County Officer-Involved Critical Incident Team is investigating an incident in Olympia Wednesday morning after a woman died in police custody.

According to a press release from the Olympia Police Department, the Olympia Fire Department was dispatched to a fire alarm activation at an apartment complex in the 1200 Block of Fern Street SW. Firefighters learned that a 35 year-old woman had pulled the fire alarm while in crisis.

The Olympia Police Department was called to assist the fire department with the woman, who was apparently suffering from mental illness and/or acute effects of substance use. Olympia Police arrived a short time later and were directed to the woman by firefighters at the apartment complex. Three officers and a supervisor made contact with the woman and determined that she posed a threat to herself and/or others and decided she needed to be detained for mental health evaluation.

The officers were able to get the woman into restraints. She began actively fighting the officers by kicking and lunging. The officers placed the woman on the ground and restrained her while Olympia Fire personnel on scene called for paramedics to chemically restrain her so that she could be safely transported. Paramedics arrived and administered medication to achieve chemical restraint and prevent further injury.

Shortly thereafter the woman stopped breathing. Fire personnel administered CPR and delivered advanced lifesaving care to the woman as she was emergently transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital. Despite the attempts to save her life the woman died.

The cause of the woman’s death is under investigation by the Thurston County Coroner’s Office. Due to the in custody death, The incident investigation will be led by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from investigators with the Lacey and Tumwater Police Departments.

Anyone with further information about this incident or witnesses to the circumstances should contact the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at (360)786-5500.

photo credit – Oly PD Stock photo

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