Death of man after New York police
restrain him ruled a homicide
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[August 30, 2014]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The death of a
man who was restrained by police during a drug-fueled outburst was ruled
a homicide by the city's medical examiner, New York police said, as the
department faces accusations of overly harsh arrest tactics.
Ronald Singleton had taken the illegal narcotic PCP, also known as
angel dust, police said.
He was "overly irate and irrational, cursing and screaming" in the
back of a taxi on July 13 and then attempted to fight a police
officer whom the driver had alerted for help, the New York Police
Department said in statement on Friday.
The 45-year-old was "restrained and placed in a protective body
wrap". Singleton, who was not arrested, went into cardiac arrest in
an ambulance and was pronounced dead at hospital.
He died from "physical restraint by police during excited delirium"
due to the PCP, and also from heart disease and obesity, the New
York City medical examiner announced on Friday, according to the
His death came four days before that of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old
man suspected of peddling loose untaxed cigarettes on a Staten
Island sidewalk who police put in a choke hold as they arrested him.
The incident has become part of a wider national debate about how
American police use force, particularly on citizens who are not
white. Earlier this month residents in Missouri took to the streets
to protest against the shooting by police of an unarmed black
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A New York City prosecutor on Aug. 19 said he would present evidence
to a grand jury next month to determine whether anyone should be
criminally charged in Garner's death.
Police officers have not faced disciplinary measures over
Singleton's death, which is being investigated by the Manhattan
District Attorney's office. The police department said it would
cooperate with the investigation.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
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