Coroner, police deliver reports on Xavier Moore death

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Kayla Moore’s sister, Maria, and father, Arthur, at a rally Tuesday night to demand more information about Moore’s in-custody death. The coroner released its report on the cause of death today. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Xavier (Kayla) Moore died because of “acute combined drug intoxication,” according to the Alameda County Coroner’s report released today. The coroner ruled the death accidental. The 41-year-old Moore stopped breathing while being taken into police custody on Feb. 12 at the Gaia Building on Allston Way. Moore was pronounced dead at 1:34 a.m. on Feb. 13 at Alta Bates Hospital.

Since Moore’s death, there have been protests about the role of the police, culminating in a heated public comment session at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

The autopsy of Moore revealed 0.74 mg/L of methamphetamine and 0.34 mg/L of codeine in a blood sample, levels the coroner described as “toxic.” Additionally, the coroner identified cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) and morbid obesity. Moore weighed 347 pounds.

Berkeley Police Department also released today its 348-page investigation into Moore’s death. The core of the report, written by Sgt. Peter Hong from the homicide squad, concludes that Moore was in violation of California Penal Code 69, resisting arrest, and that the physical force used by the police to overcome Moore’s resistance and to effect Moore’s arrest was reasonable. It also concluded “the involved officers had the authority and probable cause to take Xavier Moore into custody for the outstanding warrant and for a WI 5150 evaluation.” The police received a 911 call about a disturbance on the fifth floor of the Gaia building just before midnight on Feb. 12. Berkeleyside will have in-depth coverage of the police report on Monday.


Elysse Paige-Moore, Moore’s mother, had not seen either the coroner’s report or the BPD report this evening, although she had been given the top-line results from the coroner’s report.

“It’s premature to make any comments as I have not seen the full report,” she said. “I want to look at the coroner’s report. I want to know the condition of my son’s body.”

Paige-Moore criticized the way police handled the incident.

“The way to handle a mentally ill person is not typically to use a taser or to use force,” she said. “This is clearly not what happened. We are working with CopWatch to pursue the investigation and make sure change is implemented in Berkeley.”

Related:
Emotional please prompt call for Kayla Moore report [04.01.13]
Police union: Should Berkeley have Tasers? [04.02.3013]
Anti-police demonstrators march in downtown Berkeley [03.13.13]
Berkeley Police release statement on in-custody death [02.28.13]
Name released after death in custody, cause unknown [02.22.13]
Man dies after struggle with Berkeley Police [02.13.13]

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