The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C., has ruled the death of a local man found unresponsive while in the custody of security guards last month a homicide, the Huffington Post reports.
According to the report, a homicide ruling does not mean that a crime was committed, however.
In November the Metropolitan Police Department responded to an assault in progress in the hallway of an apartment complex in D.C. Alonzo Smith, 27, was found in the custody of security guards, handcuffed and unresponsive. He was taken to the United Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The medical examiner’s office listed the cause of death as "sudden cardiac death," complicated by "acute cocaine toxicity while restrained." "Compression of torso" was also listed under other significant conditions.
The MPD noted that the case is still under investigation. Earlier reports indicated that a witness said Smith had run into the hallway that day screaming, "Somebody help me; they're trying to kill me."
His relatives, and other residents at the complex where he was found, have questioned the sudden death. Smith's grandmother, who said that she saw autopsy photos, recalled that the young man had a long mark on one side of his face and that the other side appeared to be swollen, HuffPost notes.
Read more at the Huffington Post.