- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2020

CAIRO, Ga. (AP) - A south Georgia district attorney says he is likely to ask a grand jury to conduct a civil investigation into the death of a man after he was arrested following a police standoff.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland tells the Thomasville Times-Enterprise that he plans to commission grand jurors to examine the death of 68-year-old Paul Charles Guerrero. He died August 16 after SWAT agents noticed he had become unresponsive following his arrest.

The grand jury would examine details of Guerrero’s death and recommend whether use of force was justified or if people should be criminally charged. Mulholland says he wants grand jurors’ input.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said Guerrero refused to communicate with authorities after he barricaded himself inside his residence. A SWAT team attempted to force Guerrero out using pepper spray and “several less lethal weapons,” but GBI says he threw out a gas canister and physically resisted arrest. The GBI hasn’t said how Guerrero exited the room.

Officers noticed Guerrero had become unresponsive after he was handcuffed and removed from the scene, GBI said. Medics attempted to revive him, but were unsuccessful.

An autopsy performed in August did not reveal an immediate cause of death.

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