Arlington County officials investigating death in police custody

The death of an inmate at the Arlington County Detention Center is under investigation by a team of detectives, crime scene technicians and commanders from 11 Northern Virginia police agencies.

The Northern Virginia Critical Incident Response Team said it is investigating the death of 58-year-old Clyde Spencer, who was found unconscious in a medical unit within the Arlington County Detention Center on Tuesday morning.

Spencer had been in custody since Saturday on charges of trespassing.

Medics on the scene attempted resuscitation efforts until Spencer was transported to the Virginia Hospital Center, where his condition did not improve and he was pronounced dead that evening.

An autopsy was conducted by a medical examiner to determine how he died. No details were made publicly available as of Thursday morning.

In a news release, Arlington County Police Chief Charles Penn said he requested the Critical Incident Response Team’s involvement “in the interest of promoting transparency and public confidence.”

The team was created at the beginning of the year to provide transparency through impartial investigations.

Because the case is still an active investigation, Arlington police have asked anyone with information to contact investigators by emailing or calling 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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