Stamford police: No force or Taser used against man who died in custody

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The Stamford branch of the NAACP is demanding answers following the death of a Stamford man in police custody earlier this week.

Police say they responded to the 100 block of West Avenue to a 911 call from a mother regarding a domestic violence incident with her 23-year-old son.

Police told News 12 that the man ran off before officers arrived. He later returned, and police were called to the home again.

When they arrived, they found the man, who has not yet been publicly named, hiding in the woods nearby.

Police say they arrested the suspect and took him to police headquarters for booking – but when they arrived, he went into medical distress. EMS brought him to Stamford Hospital, where he later died.

The NAACP Stamford Branch and the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut released a statement that begins: "Another young black man has died after being arrested by police in Connecticut, and once again, the public and his family members are struggling to receive information and answers from police."

Acting Police Chief Tom Wuennemann called the incident an unfortunate medical situation. He says police didn't use a Taser on the man or use any kind of force.

The NAACP is calling for police to release footage from body cameras, dashboard cameras and the station.

Darnell Crosland, a board member of the Norwalk branch of the NAACP, says there are “more questions than answers.”

The organization is questioning why police arrested this man, claiming the initial call had to do with a request for mental health assistance.

“Obviously, if the kid has mental illness and he's handled in a way that doesn't reflect or take into account his mental illness, he could end up going into distress,” says Crosland.

News 12 was told that the man’s family met with the state's attorney's office today. Chief Wuennemann is meeting with community leaders.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner did an autopsy but has not determined cause of death. A spokesperson said further study is needed, including the results of toxicology tests.

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