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Police: Excessive force wasn't used on woman who died in custody

Investigators determined that police only used enough force necessary to detain a woman who was being disruptive at a hospital in Florence.

Posted: Oct 19, 2017 6:18 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2017 6:18 PM

FLORENCE, Ore. -- Investigators said they determined there wasn't any deadly or excessive force used on a woman who died at a Florence hospital while in police custody.

The medical examiner hasn't determined Melissa Gallauher's cause of death but said it was not a result of her interaction with police.

"There is no evidence the involved officers used deadly or excessive force, and all evidence indicates the involved officers were extremely patient and only used enough force to detain Gallauher, who was being uncooperative and was refusing to leave the location," said Sgt. Carl Wilkerson

On October 13, the Florence Police Department received a complaint from Peace Harbor Hospital. They said Gallauher was being disruptive and refusing to leave the hospital after being discharged.

When officers arrived, they said they tried to convince Gallauher, 47, to leave but she refused.

Police said they eventually detained Gallauher but were concerned with her health. Medical personnel began assessing her condition and said her condition deteriorated rapidly. They spent a significant amount of time providing lifesaving efforts but were unsuccessful.

Related stories: Florence hospital patient dies while in police custody 

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