Bratton Defends Response in Midtown Custody Death

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    The medical examiner ruled the death of a man who authorities say went into cardiac arrest after being placed in a body wrap by police in midtown a homicide. Michael George reports. (Published Monday, Sept. 1, 2014)

    It appears police officers behaved appropriately when they put a protective body wrap on a drug user who later died in custody, the police commissioner said Monday.

    Ronald Singleton's death was ruled a homicide on Friday by the city medical examiner's office, which cited physical restraint by police as a factor, along with severe intoxication from the hallucinogenic drug PCP, heart disease and obesity.

    Singleton, 45, was acting erratically in a taxi July 13 when police were called to the scene. Police Commissioner William Bratton said the taxi driver was "scared to death" and the officers were trying to protect Singleton from hurting himself and others. He stressed the term "homicide" is a medical definition and doesn't mean an officer did something wrong.

    Singleton, who was not placed under arrest, was on his way to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation when he went into cardiac arrest, authorities said.

    Demonstrators Cross Verrazano Bridge to Protest Chokehold Death of Eric Garner

    [NY] Demonstrators Cross Verrazano Bridge to Protest Chokehold Death of Eric Garner
    Demonstrators began crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in a caravan of cars and buses Saturday to protest the death of a Staten Island father who died in police custody last month after being put in a chokehold. Sheldon Dutes reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 25, 2014)

    Prosecutors are investigating, which is standard protocol involving a police death.

    Singleton's death came four days before Eric Garner died on Staten Island after an officer placed him in a chokehold. The 43-year-old asthmatic father of six could be heard on an amateur video shouting "I can't breathe!" as an officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. The officer was stripped of his gun and badge after Garner's death.

    The Staten Island district attorney is assembling a special grand jury next month to hear evidence in the Garner case.

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