FLETCHER, N.C. (WSPA) – Officers of the Fletcher Police Department were cleared by the North Carolina District Attorney after a months-long investigation following a man’s death in police custody.
7NEWS previously reported Christopher Robert Hensley, 35, was arrested on June 15, 2022. Shortly after his arrest, he became unresponsive and was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
According to the North Carolina District Attorney’s Office, officers responded to a 911 domestic call involving drugs at Hensley’s residence. Upon arrival, officers attempted to de-escalate the situation by removing Hensley from the home so his wife and children could pack their things and leave.
Officials said Hensley became irate with officers and refused to cooperate. Based on Hensley’s behavior, officers detained him in concern for the safety of his family.
Over the next 14 minutes of the attempted arrest, Hensley chose to actively resist causing them to call additional units to respond.
During the course of the 14-minute altercation, Hensley was able to physically exhaust all responding officers despite their efforts to restrain him through two taser discharges, blunt force distraction blows and attempted hand-to-hand manipulation.
Once the handcuffs were secured, two officers remained near Hensley to control his movements, one holding on to his legs and the other at his right side.
Hensley grunted loudly and mule kicked the officer controlling his legs in the thigh area causing other officers to immediately reengage control of him as he simultaneously became motionless.
Within a minute of noticing Hensley was motionless and not breathing, officers checked for a pulse, flipped him on his back, began chest compressions and administered Narcan. Chest compressions were continuously maintained by several officers relieving each other until Emergency Services arrived and took over.
According to NC District Attorney Andrew Murray, upon reviewing multiple documents, interviews, law enforcement policies and procedures, medical examiner reports, and body camera videos related to the incident, there were no North Carolina criminal laws violated by the responding officers related to Hensley’s death.
The autopsy report revealed the cause of death to be sudden cardiac death in the setting of cocaine and methamphetamine toxicity, dilated by cardiomyopathy and physical restraint.