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Former Mobile police officer who attempted suicide by cop dies in Washington County jail

By WALA Staff

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — The former Mobile police officer who attempted suicide by cop last week died Wednesday while in the Washington County jail, investigators said.

Robert Harris was arrested Friday after an incident where he attempted suicide by encouraging another officer to shoot him.

He was found dead in his cell around noon. The cause of his death has not been revealed. The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death.

Harris was taken to jail on Friday after an incident on Highway 43 in Washington County.

According to investigators, Harris was in the middle of the road around midnight acting erratic. A Mobile police officer who lives in Washington County was on his way home and came across Harris in the road. Investigators said Cpl. Raymond Grissett and a McIntosh police officer confronted Harris who was described as combative and making suicidal statements. Police said Harris refused commands from the officers and told them to kill him.

Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine said Harris pulled something from behind his back as if it were a weapon. The McIntosh officer used his taser but it had no effect. Cpl Grissett then fired his weapon twice but did not strike Harris, Prine said.

Harris fled the scene but was eventually captured and taken to jail.

MPD said Harris resigned from the police force on March 30 while under administrative and criminal investigation. The department said Harris quit before the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of conduct unbecoming and unlawful conduct in reference to contact with a juvenile.

Police said the administrative investigation is closed. The criminal investigation was presented to the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office for review of prosecution. The case(s) were ultimately no-billed by a grand jury in April 2022, police said.

Wednesday night, we received a statement from ALEA. According to the statement, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has asked the state agency to investigate.

ALEA is calling it an “in-custody death”.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will conduct an autopsy. Once the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Washington County District Attorney’s office.

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