Richmond: Man’s death after violent police encounter under investigation

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Photo credit: RPD

A man’s death two days after he was involved in a violent encounter with Richmond police officers is being jointly investigated by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and the Richmond Police Department.

At about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, a female called 911 stating her mother was involved in a domestic disturbance, Richmond police spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Pomeroy said. Dispatchers “heard chaos in the background and immediately dispatched officers to the scene on S. 9th Street,” Pomeroy said.

Arriving officers met with the victim’s daughter who said her mom and boyfriend were inside the home. Officers were met by the suspect in a hallway and a struggle ensued immediately, Pomeroy said.

“During the altercation which lasted several minutes, the suspect attempted to remove an officer’s firearm from his holster, however was unsuccessful,” the sergeant said. “Officers were physically able to overcome the resistance and take the suspect into custody.”

According to the East Bay Times, which identified the man as Jose Luis Lopez, 40, of Richmond, officers “struck him with batons and attempted to use a stun gun on him.”

While the Richmond Fire Department and paramedics were at the scene, the suspect suffered a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital. Today at 10:45 a.m., he was pronounced deceased, Pomeroy said.

As a result, RPD enacted a Law Enforcement Incident Fatality (LEIF) protocol, prompting the joint investigation into the suspect’s death. The Contra Costa County coroner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause of death.

Multiple officers were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries following the encounter with the man.