TBI investigating death of man who died while being taken into MNPD custody

Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 23:28:54-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case of a man who died while in the custody of Metro Nashville Police officers following an incident at a home.

MNPD officials explained the details of the incident leading up to the death of 43-year-old Larry Eugene Boyd in a press release.

It says officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at a home on the 800 block of West Sharpe Avenue at 11:30 p.m. They repeatedly knocked on the door and made announcements to open it for police, but no one answered. Officer Kristopher Sutton entered the home after he heard yelling from what sounded like a physical altercation inside and saw a man with a gun through a window.

Officer Sutton saw Boyd, who had a gun, standing with the homeowner, a 37-year-old woman who Boyd was visiting.

That's when officials say Officer Sutton immediately began shouting commands for Boyd to drop his weapon. The woman was able to break free from Boyd and run out the door, followed by two others who had been hiding inside a bedroom.

Officer Sutton reportedly again ordered Boyd to drop his gun. Boyd, who police say appeared to be under the influence, came toward Officer Sutton, dropping his pistol near the front door.

Officer Sutton then tried to take Boyd into custody, but officials say he physically resisted and the two struggled down the front porch stairs into the yard where Officers Edward Holden and Josh Whitworth joined Officer Sutton struggled to arrest him.

A taser was deployed with two five-second bursts, as officers attempted to bring Boyd, who was six feet tall and weighed 290 pounds, under control.

After he was handcuffed, officials say officers placed Boyd into a seated position and called for an ambulance to evaluate him. They kept him sitting upright while waiting for Nashville Fire Department paramedics.

Boyd was treated with medication by the NFD, and was transported to General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

“After reviewing body camera footage, the officers worked to de-escalate this interaction,” Chief John Drake stated in the press release. “This was a real-life call with officers making decisions in the moment in their efforts to protect victims and bring a suspect into custody as safely as possible.”

The Community Oversight Board was notified of Boyd’s death overnight and responded to the scene. The Board also reviewed officers’ body camera footage this afternoon.

All three officers involved in the incident are still on active duty: Officer Whitworth, who's been a MNPD officer for three years, Officer Sutton, for one year and Officer Holden for four years.

The Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct toxicology.