An Albany man died Friday night after being stunned by Panama City Police officers during a joint narcotics investigation with the Bay County Sheriff's Office and the Bay Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Squad (BADGES), Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesperson Michael Morrison said Monday.
The state department is currently investigating the incident that led to the death of Rickey R. Massey, 38, of Albany.
According to Florida authorities, Panama City police and the Bay County Sheriff's Office were conducting a joint narcotics operation near Turtle Lake apartments in Panama City around 2:30 p.m. Friday when they stopped a vehicle with four occupants who they believed to be in possession of drugs.
When officers approached the vehicle, they saw Massey swallowing what appeared to be cocaine. Authorities said that when they tried to stop Massey, he resisted and a struggle between Massey and officers ensued.
One of the officers used a Taser on Massey in an effort to subdue him.
Authorities said that after the Taser was applied, Massey began to have medical problems and was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
Panama City medical examiners performed an autopsy of Massey's body on Saturday and are currently waiting for the toxicology report and a review of tissue samples before determining the cause of death, officials said.
It is unknown at this time whether drugs or the Taser was the cause of Massey's death.
Bernard Crapps, 30, of Panama City and Jarell Daniels, 25, of Albany were in the vehicle with Massey and have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Eric Oneal Sims, 24, who was also in the vehicle, is facing weapons and drug charges.
Morrison said that the Florida law enforcement officials are currently investigating the incident and are interviewing witnesses.
"We are currently on a fact-finding mission," he said. "There is an active investigation that is ongoing and we will have the results of that investigation soon."