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Medical examiner lists jail death as homicide

The death of a 33-year-old man in the booking area of the Spokane County Jail in February has been listed as a homicide.

The Spokane County medical examiner determined the cause of Christopher J. Parker’s death was a methamphetamine overdose, aggravated by the restraints jail staff used and by Parker’s diabetes, according to a news release. The restraints and the diabetes were “contributing to death but not causing death directly or independently,” the release said.

Because the restraints contributed to the death, the medical examiner classified it as a homicide, the release said.

Parker was pronounced dead Feb. 24 about two hours after calling 911 to say he was diabetic and had ingested methamphetamine. A Spokane police officer called paramedics, who checked on Parker and cleared him to be transported to the jail on an outstanding warrant.

Parker reportedly became uncooperative, and corrections deputies used a Taser to shock him and placed him in a restraint chair.

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