Autopsy: Man Died Of Cocaine Overdose In Police Holding Cell


Chief: After Overdose Death,

OPD Upgrading Holding Cell

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Chief Brenner

ONEONTA – OPD Chief Douglas Brenner today said a state Commission on Corrections investigator visited the Public Safety Building and said, despite the Nov. 3 death of a suspect who barricaded himself in the holding cell, officers had acted “within policy and reason.”

Nonetheless, Brenner said a storage area is being renovated to create a new holding area for strip searches, without doors or obstructions, to make such searches safer for the officers and the suspects. “There’s always room for improvement,” he said.

The chief also said the final autopsy results have been received, and they confirm  that Kenneth Faulkner, 52, died after ingesting a “potentially lethal” amount of cocaine after he barricade himself in the cell during a strip search.

Faulkner, arrested under suspicion of drug trafficking, was in the process of being strip-searched by police when he became agitated and locked himself in a holding cell.  Video footage shows Faulkner swallowing a bag containing a suspected drug.

Officers opened the cell door and tried to get him to spit out the bag, and when they realized he had swallowed it, called 911. He was taken to the hospital, where he had a seizure, went into cardiac arrest and died.

The autopsy, released this afternoon, stated, “This 52-year-old man apparently ingested a toxic amount of cocaine and could not be resuscitated.” Additionally, a plastic bag, with “foreign, pasty white material inside” was found in his esophagus and is believed to be a plastic bag used.

Brenner has said that the bag will be sent to the crime lab to test for cocaine residue.


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