On November 12th, 2021, the Frederick Police Department was called to a residence on Greenleese Drive for an individual behaving erratically. Officers arrived to find Daniel Michael Holley, 23, unclothed, sweating profusely, and pacing back-and-forth.
Officers attempted to verbally de-escalate the situation and gain a better understanding of exactly what was happening. During these attempts, Mr. Holley slapped an officer in the face, then immediately tackled that same officer to the ground. Another officer deployed his taser to subdue Mr. Holley and stop the attack. Immediately following the use of the taser, officers began to render aid, request emergency medical services to the scene, roll Mr. Holley on his side, and protect his airway.
Shortly after arriving at FHH, Mr. Holley suffered a medical emergency and went into cardiac arrest, where he later was pronounced dead.
“Anytime someone loses their life, it is tragic,” said Police Chief Jason Lando. “My condolences go out to Mr. Holley's family as they continue to grieve his death.”
An interim report released by the Office of the Attorney General’s Independent Investigations Division revealed that Mr. Holley’s death was not due to any police action. The exact cause of Mr. Holley’s death is still being determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, but the interim report ruled out the actions of the officers as the cause. In light of these findings, the Frederick County State's Attorneys Office has declined to pursue charges against any of the involved police officers.
“We are not surprised by the findings, as our department, and the public had the chance to see the body camera footage from this incident. In my review of that footage, I was immediately struck by how professional and calm each officer remained in a tense, rapidly evolving situation. Our officers treated Mr. Holley with dignity and respect and provided expedited and safe medical care for Mr. Holley,” said Chief Lando.
The Frederick Police Department cooperated with the IID’s independent investigation and reserved comment in doing so to allow the process to take place.
“In all cases involving an in-custody death, an independent process is critical for police to maintain public trust,” Chief Lando added. “Any time an officer is involved in an in-custody death, the investigation weighs heavy on the officers mentally and emotionally. Now that the investigation has concluded, I hope our officers are able to take solace in the fact that their actions played no role in Mr. Holley's unfortunate death, as the IID's report merely confirmed what I believed all along: Our officers performed exceptionally well under difficult circumstances. Their actions were impressive and set the standard for how all officers should respond. In short, our officers did exactly what they were trained to do.”
This release has been updated to reflect the Frederick County State's Attorney's Office as the agency that cleared the officers, not the Independent Investigations Division.