SEATTLE – A Seattle police officer who was found shot hours after his arrest for alleged possession of crack cocaine, has died.
Officials at Harborview Medical Center confirmed the officer died of his injuries around 3:30 p.m.
The officer was identified 50-year-old Richard F. Nelson. He was booked into the King County Jail at 4:16 a.m. and released at 4:48. His service weapon was taken away when he was booked. He has not yet been charged.
Seattle Police say Nelson was found with a gunshot wound near North Bend about six hours after he was released from jail. No other details about the shooting were given, other than Nelson was rushed to Harborview.
The investigation into Nelson was reportedly launched after another officer told superiors that Nelson might be using drugs.
Chief John Diaz had scheduled a Thursday afternoon media availability to discuss the case, but SPD later announced it would be postponed and did not say when it would be rescheduled.
Nelson, a 22-year veteran, works in the South Precinct. He previously worked as a bicycle officer in the Rainier Valley. He has two children.
Public records indicate Officer Nelson earned $99,183 in 2009.
News of the internal investigation comes after the Seattle Police Department was admonished last month by the U.S. Department of Justice, saying Seattle police have engaged in a pattern of excessive force and the department had an inadequate systems of supervision and oversight . DOJ ordered the department to implement a number of reforms.