VINELAND — Authorities said they are investigating the death of a man while in police custody Tuesday.

The death occurred shortly before noon and didn’t involve a shooting, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said.

Authorities did not identify the deceased.

However, people at a curbside memorial of stuffed animals, candles, flowers, balloons and empty liquor bottles in the 100 block of West Grape Street identified the man as city resident Phillip White. An age and address for White were unavailable.

Webb-McRae said the incident occurred on Grape Street. Residents in the 100 block of West Grape Street said their normally quiet neighborhood was disrupted Tuesday afternoon by the appearance of police who cordoned off the area with yellow crime scene tape.

Webb-McRae said the man’s death was under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office and State Police.

Police Chief Timothy Codispoti released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying, “As many of you have already heard, earlier today a tragedy occurred involving officers and a citizen. Sadly, this call for service resulted in an in-custody, nonshooting death.”

The Police Department’s “sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and with the officers involved,” the statement reads.

“I ask that everyone allow time for our justice system to now investigate this matter to its truthful conclusion,” Codispoti said in the statement. “The Vineland Police Department is cooperating with the Prosecutor’s Office, and I urge anyone with information regarding the incident to contact the Prosecutor’s Office with your information.”

State Police spokesman Capt. Stephen Jones confirmed that the agency’s crime scene unit was in the city Tuesday assisting an investigation. He said he had no details regarding the investigation.

Webb-McRae said authorities will release more information Wednesday.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197

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