The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has refused for more than two years to allow its agents to cooperate with a Los Angeles Police Department investigation into the death of a drug suspect shortly after he was arrested in a DEA operation, according to LAPD records.
The LAPD's homicide investigation has effectively stalled, and officials said in documents reviewed by The Times that without assistance from the DEA they cannot determine how the man's fatal injuries were inflicted.
An autopsy found that the suspect's ribs had been fractured in 21 places and coroner's officials concluded that the injuries were caused by "blunt force." The fractures led to internal bleeding, which ultimately killed the man, the coroner found.
The LAPD believes DEA agents may have caused the injuries when they placed the suspect on his stomach while handcuffing him, according to the documents. But without being able to interview the DEA agents who made the arrest, it's impossible for the detectives to determine whether the excessive force was used.
Read the full Los Angeles Times story.