Freeport woman dies in police custody, state police investigates

FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - Illinois State Police investigate the death of a 57-year-old Freeport woman early Tuesday morning.

Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 9, Freeport police say they were called to the Mary Hosmer Apartments in the 600 block of North Walnut Avenue for someone trying to break in. According to the Freeport Police Department, officers found Bernice McNair kicking the door of a third-floor apartment.

She reportedly ran from officers when they tried to talk to her.

When officers cornered McNair in an elevator, they say she hit officers with a bag of cash and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Officers also claim she had an off-white substance in her mouth and found suspected drugs on her and in her bag.

Investigators believe at some point while she was restrained, McNair swallowed the off-white substance, which caused a medical emergency. She was taken to a local hospital where she later died.

Freeport police say they have turned over the investigation into the incident to the Illinois State Police Zone 2.

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