Man dies in APD custody

Mar. 5—ASHLAND — A man died in the custody of Ashland Police Department on Saturday after complaining of medical issues, according to Kentucky State Police.

Clarence Wilkerson, 34, died at a local hospital after APD picked him up near the area of Boyd Street on Saturday afternoon around 1 in Ashland. Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond confirmed the identity of the decedent. Autopsy is complete and toxicology is pending, according to Hammond.

According to KSP Post 14 Trooper Shane Goodall, APD had been out patrolling when officers spotted a "male subject with active warrants," which turned out to be Wilkerson.

Goodall said APD didn't exactly "take off after him," but officers found Wilkerson, a Black man, entangled in a fence. They placed him in handcuffs, and that's when he began complaining of medical issues. "He later succumbed to his ailments," Goodall said.

Goodall said, as of Sunday afternoon, he hadn't been made aware of what the active warrants were for.

Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley directed all inquiries to KSP Post 14.

The death continues to be under investigation by KSP Post 14.

A 6-minute TikTok video shows a handcuffed Wilkerson sitting on the ground near a police cruiser as one officer said he's tried to pursue him previously in that area.

Officers tried to get Wilkerson to stand up, but one bystander shouted that he was turning pale and was struggling to breathe.

Two officers assisted Wilkerson, who appeared to not be walking under his own power, to the cruiser. About four minutes later, officer Jon McCormick drove away with Wilkerson in the back of the car.

Plenty of people have weighed in on social media, including local activist group Ashland For Change.

"We have seen the video, posts, screenshots, comments, and articles," Ashland For Change posted. "We know our community is hurting and looking to us for guidance. While we are angry and hurting as well, we are currently gathering information and respecting the privacy of the family. We have not been in contact, but our hearts are with the Wilkerson family and we hope to follow their lead on any action they may wish to take."