Baltimore City

Man dies after officers respond to reported overdose; Baltimore Police, Maryland AG investigating

A man died Thursday after Baltimore Police officers responded to an overdose call.

Officers placed the man in handcuffs and leg restraints while medics tried to save his life. He later was uncuffed and transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Officials said the Baltimore Police Department’s Special Investigations Response Team and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office are investigating the in-custody death, as required under state law.

Officers responded to the 2400 block of Sherwood Avenue in East Baltimore around 11:15 a.m. Thursday and found a man in the street. Police said he was in medical distress and being restrained by a bystander. Another bystander administered Narcan, an overdose-reversing medication.


A police officer handcuffed the man and placed him in leg restraints while medics treated him, officials said. The man became unresponsive, and after medics attempted life saving measures, they placed him in an ambulance and removed his handcuffs and leg restraints, according to police.

He was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy will determine cause and manner of death. His name has not yet been released.

Officials said the officer involved had their body camera activated during the incident. The footage may be released in accordance with department policy, which instructs officials to release audio and video recordings of critical incidents “as long as such disclosure does not jeopardize any ongoing law enforcement investigation.”

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Critical incidents include shootings and other uses of force that result in hospitalization or death, as well as the death of someone who’s being detained or in Baltimore Police custody, according to the policy.

The investigation into Thursday’s incident is ongoing, with both city and state officials conducting their own probes.

That process for investigating in-custody deaths was established in a package of police reforms passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2021 with the goal of improving transparency and accountability for law enforcement agencies across the state. The legislation created a new unit inside the Maryland Attorney General’s Office to conduct such investigations, instead of allowing local law enforcement agencies to investigate themselves.

The change was tricky for the Baltimore Police Department, which remains under a federal consent decree established in 2017 that mandates the department conduct its own probes into deadly uses of force. The Attorney General’s Office reached an agreement with the city outlining a collaborative approach that lets both agencies investigate.

In a statement Friday about the most recent case, officials with the Attorney General’s Office said the arrangement with Baltimore Police allows for the state-level investigation to proceed “while still allowing BPD to meet the investigatory obligations of its federal consent decree.”


In other jurisdictions, the relatively new legislation has led to friction between state and local officials.

After Harford County deputies shot and killed a man in a Forest Hill shopping center earlier this year, Sheriff Jeff Gahler clashed with state investigators. The Attorney General’s Office later sued Gahler, claiming he interfered with the investigation by withholding access to physical evidence from the scene and video footage.