State Police Identify Man Who Died While In Fort Smith Police Custody

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Arkansas State Police are investigating after a man in Fort Smith Police custody died.

Darrell K. Hays II, 51, of Fort Smith died in the Sebastian County Detention Center in Fort Smith while being booked into the jail by Fort Smith Police officers, State Police said.

Darrell K. Hays II

According to State Police, Fort Smith officers performed a traffic stop at Towson and Fresno avenues about 12:30 a.m. Hays was a passenger and was arrested on an outstanding warrant and possession of drug paraphernalia, which was found during the traffic stop.

Police transported Hays to the detention center, where he "began to exhibit symptoms of being in medical distress," State Police said. Lifesaving measures were taken and emergency personnel responded to the jail to transport Hays to an area hospital.

Hays died shortly after arriving at the hospital, State Police said.

His body was taken to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for an autopsy.

State Police Criminal Investigation Division detectives were called in to investigate the death. Once the investigation is complete, it will be sent to the Sebastian County prosecuting attorney for consideration, State Police said, which is standard practice.

Hays' death was announced early Friday morning by the Fort Smith Police in a Facebook post, who noted that State Police had already been called in to investigate.

"There is no indication at this time that the individual's death was a result of police action," Fort Smith police said in the Facebook post.

The two officers involved were put on paid administrative leave as part of standard protocol, Fort Smith Police said.

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