Suspected Md. Cop Killer Was Strangled in Jail

FBI begins civil-rights investigation; racial tensions may heat up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2008 12:47 PM CDT
Suspected Md. Cop Killer Was Strangled in Jail
Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson, center, gestures during a press conference regarding the death of Ronnie White, Monday June 30, 2008, in Upper Marlboro, Md.    (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

A man accused of killing a police officer was strangled to death Sunday in a Maryland county jail, coroners have ruled. State police have taken over the case, and the FBI is investigating on civil-rights grounds, the Washington Post reports. “We live in a constitutional democracy, and no one has the right to be judge and jury,” fumed one county executive.

Ronnie White, 19, had been accused of intentionally running over a policeman, and was being held in solitary confinement, away from any security cameras. The coroner says White was strangled, noting two broken bones on his neck. The death will likely fuel tensions between the county’s black majority and primarily white police force, local civil-rights leaders fear. (More cop killer stories.)

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