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Man, 47, dies after ingesting substance during Buffalo traffic stop

Buffalo police say a man who ingested a bag of white powder during a traffic stop on Tuesday night was later pronounced dead at Erie County Medical Center.

A 47-year-old Buffalo man was pulled over shortly after 9 p.m. near North Oak and East Tupper streets. After the driver ingested the bag, an ambulance responded to the scene and took him to ECMC, police said Wednesday.

Police did not release the man's name, or say what the substance was or how much the man ingested.

The bag became lodged in the man's esophagus and was removed by ECMC staff, said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

It wasn't clear yet whether some sort of narcotic in the bag contributed to the man's death or whether he choked on the bag, said Flynn. An autopsy is being done, he said.

Flynn's office referred the case to the state Attorney General's Office, which he said has "first right jurisdiction," per an executive order of the governor, over any cases involving unarmed individuals who die in police custody.

"I don't have any information on whether or not he struggled with the officers," said Flynn. "I don't even know why the officers stopped him at that time. That's being investigated now."


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