The man who died in police custody had swallowed cocaine

He had reportedly led police on a chase before being arrested.
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The man who died in police custody last month had swallowed cocaine, which is what led to his death, an autopsy found.

Gerard Andrew Ryan, 48, had led officers on a chase before being arrested and booked into the Hennepin County Jail, WCCO reported. About 10 hours later, on Dec. 3, he died at the Hennepin County Medical Center, the Star Tribune said.

Officials didn't say much about what happened at the time, but his death has now been ruled an accident by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.

Ryan swallowed cocaine, which led to cardiac arrest that caused multi-system organ failure, the agency says. It noted he had been resuscitated before being taken to the hospital.

The report also lists other "significant conditions" that contributed to his death, including severe heart disease, "self-injurious behavior" and "struggle with multiple other individuals."

Deaths in police custody

In a report released last month, the Bureau of Justice Statistics said there were 486 arrest-related deaths in the United States from June 2015 to August 2015, including three in Minnesota.

Of all the deaths in that three-month period, 64 percent were ruled a homicide (the legal term for someone whose death was caused by someone else); 18 percent were suicide; and 11 percent were accidental.

The agency estimates there were 1,900 arrest-related deaths in all of 2015. For more detailed information on arrest-related deaths in the United States, click here.

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