Chief: Handcuffed man stopped breathing, couldn’t be revived

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man stopped breathing shortly after he was handcuffed by New Orleans police officers who tried unsuccessfully to save him using CPR and an opioid-overdose antidote, authorities said Wednesday.

The man died early Wednesday at a hospital, Police Chief Michael Harrison said. Speaking at a news conference, Harrison said three officers responded to calls Tuesday night about a screaming man and a break-in at a residence.

Officers spotted the man in a driveway and repeatedly told him to drop a knife he was carrying, according to the chief. Harrison said the man complied but continued to approach officers, who noticed he appeared to be bleeding from his mouth.

The man fell to the ground as the officers attempted to handcuff him and kicked at the officers, said Harrison. He said the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

“The officers then tried to hold his legs together to prevent him from kicking,” Harrison said. “The officers, using no force, except the application of handcuffs, were able to successfully restrain him.”

Harrison said that once the officers noticed the man had stopped breathing and one of them administered a drug to reverse a possible opioid overdose. They then tried to revive him using CPR, taking turns for about 10 minutes as they waited for an ambulance. They were aided by a nurse who lives in the area.

Autopsy reports were pending. Harrison said body-worn camera video and witness statements indicated officers acted appropriately. They remain on active duty.

The man wasn’t immediately identified.

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