Questions Surround Death of Man in Vineland Police Custody

Witnesses say they saw police beating Phillip White and a dog biting him. An officer says on radio that White tried to go for his gun.


Phillip White via Facebook

Vineland police arrived on the 100 block of Grape Street on Tuesday after a report of a disorderly man. They left with 32-year-old Phillip White in an ambulance. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officials are tight-lipped about the man who died in police custody in Vineland earlier this week, but some details have come out: Witnesses told NBC 10 they saw police punching the man and a police dog biting him.

On radio, a policeman said White tried to go for his gun. A witness told The Daily Journal the man was resisting arrest.

“Shortly thereafter, officers called for medical assistance in response to White appearing to be in respiratory distress,” Cumberland County prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said in a release. “During the incident White was handcuffed and restrained. White was placed in an emergency vehicle to be transported to the hospital … At some point during transport, White became unresponsive and CPR was instituted by medical personnel. White was pronounced dead at the hospital. Events that transpired between the time of the officer’s arrival and White’s transport to the hospital are under investigation.”

NBC 10 obtained video of the event.

The prosecutor is asking for information from anyone who saw the incident. Witnesses are asked to contact Sergeant Scott Collins (856-466-5127) or E. Ronald Cuff (609-381-4890) of the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.

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