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Review Of Tyrone West City Police Custody Death Reveals Flaws

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Ileto Christie 370x278 (2) Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New findings from an outside panel just released Friday afternoon shed new light on the controversial in-custody death of Tyrone West last July.

Christie Ileto has the latest details.

Could a July 2013 traffic stop that turned deadly have been avoided?

An independent review board reports city police did not use excessive force when they tried to restrain and arrest the then 44-year-old Tyrone West. But officers didn’t follow protocol, either.

Independent reviewer James Stewart sat on the panel.

“I think it was necessary to make the stop, but there were several errors that were made subsequent to that,” he said.

The report says the officers involved departed from some Baltimore Police Department policies and training and made several tactical errors that potentially aggravated the situation.

“We’re still going through the report. The purpose of this report was to be open and honest,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

The state medical examiner’s office already revealed West died because of a heart condition made worse from his struggle with police. His family has long argued that police are to blame.

“These dangerous serial killers are still on the street to try and harm somebody else,” said one family member.

Back in June, Tyrone West’s family filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Baltimore City police officers they claim are responsible for his death, citing assault, violation of civil rights and wrongful death.

His family is still trying to make sense of the deadly traffic stop. Still, the August report reveals things need to change.

“We’re shifting the culture within this organization, and it takes time to shift culture,” said Batts.

Top brass says there’s room to improve, though many of the recommendations made by the panel to enhance transparency and police community relations are already in place.

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