New details emerge from Frederick police bodycam footage

Police in Frederick, Maryland, have released body-worn camera footage of three officers subduing a young man with a Taser during a Nov. 12 call.

The video, which includes footage from all three officers involved in the call, shows them trying to calm 23-year-old Daniel Michael Holley, of Virginia, in a Greenleese Drive apartment.

Holley was transported to Frederick Health Hospital, where he suffered a medical emergency and died two days later. Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando presented the video to confirm police accounts and gave details of the officers’ interactions with Holley at the scene.

Officers were dispatched to answer a 911 call at an apartment in the 1800 block of Greenleese Drive near Derrs Square Park in Frederick on Friday, Nov. 12, according to a police statement.

On entering the apartment, officers found Holley, nude, pacing rapidly, sweating and speaking incoherently. Officers reportedly were told that Holley had taken a “harmful substance.”

The case has been handed over to Maryland’s Attorney General to independently investigate the incident, in accordance with a new Maryland law requiring all deaths with any level of police involvement be referred to the state’s top lawyer.

All officers involved in the incident remain on duty.

Holley hospitalized

After calling for an ambulance, officers made efforts to calm Holley down in order to assess his situation. Holley was never arrested or charged with any crime, and was only remanded to medical custody by Frederick police that evening.

The released footage showed Holley’s reaction as officers asked him to clean up for the ambulance.

As Holley swung from side to side, one of the officers could be heard saying “DJ, sit down for me, just so you don’t bump your head. I know you’re warm, I’m gonna get you a washcloth. For your face, OK? I’m gonna get you a washcloth, all right?”

At one point, Holley lunges at an officer and forces him to the ground, grunting as the officer attempts to recover. Another officer then charges Holley in the buttocks with a Taser probe. After a brief struggle, officers were able to subdue Holley in handcuffs.

In the video, filmed from the officers’ perspective, one of the other officers repeatedly yelled to put Holley into a “recovery position,” which is a term for protecting the throat and airways.

After a brief struggle to place Holley on a stretcher, an officer off screen can be heard asking “Hey, is he, like, really warm?” To which the officer on video replied, “Yeah, I would imagine, yeah.”

As he was taken outside, one of the officers said Holley was biting him. Another officer replied, “Don’t let him bite you.”

The footage ends when officers strap Holley to a mobile stretcher and place him in the ambulance.

According to Lando, when Holley was treated in the emergency room at FHH, he suffered an “unknown medical emergency,” and was fully admitted to the hospital, where he was kept through the weekend.

Two days later, on Nov. 14, staff notified police that Holley had died.

Chief Lando said that when the department utilizes force, they review those cases. That includes when serious injuries or death occur.

“I have full faith in the investigatory process and we pledge to be transparent with the Frederick community, to whatever extent is permitted by the independent investigative team,” Lando said.

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Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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