The first handoff of an investigation to the Virginia State Police after an “in-custody death” involving the Roanoke City police department went well. That was the word from Chief of Police Tim Jones and Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell today. It involved a man who died after being placed in the back of a police cruiser after an incident on 21st Street in March. State police cleared the two officers involved and concluded that Clifton Watts died of acute cocaine and alcohol poisoning shortly after he had broken into an apartment and became violent. Jones instituted the hand-off policy – targeted for officer-involved fatal shootings – after a series of highly-publicized national incidents. Caldwell led off  a news conference this morning:

9-8 Caldwell for Web-WEB