Alonzo Smith’s Death Ruled A Homicide

The death of a Washington D.C. man found unconscious while in the custody of security guards last month has been ruled a homicide.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner made the announcement on Monday.

In November, the Metropolitan Police Department responded to a call of an assault in progress at a residence in southeast Washington. 27-year-old Alonzo Smith was found in the custody of guards known as “special police.”

Smith was handcuffed and not breathing. He was moved to United Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

“Sudden cardiac death” complicated by “acute cocaine toxicity while restrained” was listed as the cause of death. Another significant condition, “compression of torso,” was also listed.

The homicide ruling means that the intentional actions of an individual led to death, not that those actions were intended to cause death or that a crime was committed.

Metropolitan Police Spokeswoman Alice Kim said that the case is still under investigation.

A police report obtained by the Huffington Post last month initially classified the incident as “justifiable homicide” with the “weapon/force involved” listed as “none.” Officials later amended the classification to “death report.”

A spokesman for the D.C. police department said the classification was “an error on the part of the officer who took the original report.”

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