Pepper-Spray Death of Suspect Ruled Homicide

The death of a Bronx man who suffered an asthma attack after police pepper-sprayed him has been ruled a homicide.

The Daily News reported Friday that the medical examiner determined Kemp Yarborough's death on March 8 was a homicide by "acute bronchial asthma during a physical altercation including pepper spray."

Yarborough was arrested when police were responding to reports of a fight on a playground at East 163rd Street and Eagle Avenue.

His lawyer, William Martin, and a witness, said Yarborough reached for his inhaler as police were questioning him.

They say that caused police to tackle Yarborough and hit him with pepper spray.

"He went down like timber," Martin told the News. "He told them he couldn't breathe. After five to 10 minutes, he started foaming at the mouth and eventually died."

The News said, citing unnamed sources, that prosecutors are considering filing charges against the arresting officers.

The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.

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