New details are emerging about the night Ian Murdock died, and they confirm some of the tweets he made just before his death. Murdock is the founder of Debian Linux, one of the more popular Linux distributions available. He created the distro utilizing the Linux kernel while studying at Purdue University where he earned his bachelors degree. In Murdock’s tweets he described an altercation with police and how they had abused him physically, CBS San Francisco said the altercation was “violent.”
Police now confirm that they arrested Murdock early Sunday morning near the 2400 block of Green Street where he was found yelling and screaming. Police say that they received a call of a possible break-in for that area on Saturday night and they detained Murdock because he matched the description of the burglar. Police claim that Murdock was belligerent, possibly drunk, and argumentative with officers.
Police also claim that Murdock was placed in a squad car where he began banging his head on the metal cage separator causing himself damage. Police say they took Murdock from the vehicle and he continued fighting with them, there was enough damage that they called for medical assistance, and Murdock was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Apparently Murdock was treated and released from the hospital but then returned to the same address on Green Street where it is reported he was banging on the door. Police were called again and when they tried to detain him he fought with them once more. Police finally made the choice to arrest Murdock on “suspicion” of four misdemeanor counts.
He didn’t indicate at any point in the jail booking process that he was suicidal and was medically examined again in jail, she said.
On Monday, police returned to the 2400 block of Green Street on reports of a possible suicide. The city medical examiner’s office confirmed Murdock was found dead there.
Murdock’s tweets are strange, in them he describes his altercation with police differently but we don’t know the full truth because he’s not here. It’s entirely possible that he was drunk and his Twitter posts were made in an altered state but we hope there’s a more granular investigation of this incident. As far as we know, Murdock has never been in trouble with the law before and a bit more clarity of this tragic event would be welcome.
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