Man Dies In Police Custody

The circumstances surrounding the death of a twenty-seven-year-old man are still unclear as investigations continue to establish the mysterious death of Alonzo Smith, who was found unconscious and in handcuffs under the custody of security guards, also referred to as special police, at a Washington D.C. apartment complex.

D.C. police officers had received a call reporting an assault in progress at the Marbury Plaza apartments in South East Washington D.C. By the time they arrived at the apartment, they found the man in handcuffs and unable to breathe in a second-floor hallway.

Smith was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The security guards who took Smith into custody worked at the apartment complex in the 2300 block of Good Hope Road, SE. These officers are usually armed, licensed by the district and have the powers to arrest.

The D.C. police have since launched investigations into what led to the death of Smith, as relatives and friends alike question the circumstances surrounding his death. His relatives have also expressed outrage for the period it took the department to acknowledge the incidents publicly. According to Smith’s grandmother, who saw the autopsy images, Smith had a long mark on the left side of his face with the other side appearing swollen. She also said that her son suffered from asthma.

His family was also upset by the D.C. police officer who wrote the initial report which classified Smith’s death as a justifiable homicide. However, Conboy, the spokesman of police said that this was an error and that the case was labeled a death investigation.

A number of questions still remain unanswered as the District’s medical examiner’s office said they had not concluded what caused the man’s death. The police also have not reported anything on when or how they think the injuries to the man’s face occurred.

According to a statement from the D.C. police and the offense report, the police have not released any details as to what transpired before the D.C police responded to the ongoing assault call which involved Smith and the security guards at around 4 a.m. The report notes that Smith was already unconscious and in handcuffs when the police first laid their eyes on him. They then rushed him to United Medical Center after administering CPR where he was later pronounced dead.

Smith was a resident of South East Washington and a father of a six-year-old boy. He worked at the private Accotink Academy Learning Center in Springfield, Va since 2002. The academy teaches students with emotional and learning disabilities from elementary school through high school.

According to the School’s vice chairperson, Smith had outstanding abilities in working with those children and his presence will be greatly missed by both the staff and children whose lives he touched.

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