Baltimore Leaders Want Information About Man’s Death In Police Custody

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Searching for answers. Baltimore leaders are joining the chorus of voices looking for information about what happened to a man who died in police custody. Family members of 44-year-old Tyrone West believe police are responsible for his death.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the unanswered questions.

Tyrone West died in police custody exactly four months ago but the investigation into his death is still incomplete.

Outside City Hall, members of West’s family plead for answers.

“I feel like it’s a coverup. What are you hiding? They need to come out with the truth,” said Tawanda Jones, West’s sister.

West died during a traffic stop in July. Police say he resisted arrest and went into medical distress during a struggle.

Family members say that’s not the story they’ve heard from witnesses.

“All they saw was sticks and kicks. They maced him; they tased him. He’s on the ground,” said Diane Butler, West’s aunt.

The medical examiner’s office tells WJZ the autopsy has been complete for months but the cause and manner of death are still pending.

Now City Council members have introduced a resolution calling for answers in the Tyrone West case.

“It is just plain unacceptable for this to take so long,” said Councilman Bill Henry.

He wants the police commissioner and chief medical examiner to come before the City Council to explain why the death investigation is not yet complete.

“Until the medical examiner comes in and gives a compelling and reasonable answer for why it’s taken this long, there’s no excuse,” Henry said.

West’s family say they won’t stop until they get answers.

“We should not have to bury Tyrone [with] no death certificate, no cause of death. He’s under the dirt,” Butler said.

The council will now schedule a public hearing on the matter; it’s expected to take place in December.

Councilman Henry says if the medical examiner doesn’t voluntarily appear at the hearing, the council could issue a subpoena.

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