Family of Stamford man who died in police custody pleads for details

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The family of a Stamford man who died in police custody Wednesday held a news conference where casting blame was avoided, but answers were sought.

Members of the NAACP, clergy and community leaders joined the family of Steven Barrier, 23, at a Stamford church Friday. They pleaded for the details surrounding his death.

Stamford police responded late Tuesday night to a home at the 100 block of West Avenue. They originally said the call came in as a domestic violence incident between mother and son -- but Barrier's mother Valerie Jaddo says she was asleep, and that her daughter called 911. It's not clear what happened between the siblings.

Barrier was arrested and taken to police headquarters for booking, but when he got there, he went into medical distress. EMS brought him to Stamford Hospital, where he later died Wednesday -- his birthday.

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

Acting Stamford Police Chief Tom Wuennemann told News 12 Connecticut police never used any kind of force with Barrier.

On Friday, Stamford Mayor David Martin released a statement, saying in part, "The death of this man is an absolute tragedy and I sympathize with the grief his family is feeling." Martin went on to pledge to make all information, including body camera footage, public once the state attorney's office signs off.

The news conference was the first time Jaddo spoke publicly about her son's death.

"Three days ago, my son needed help. Instead of receiving help, he lost his life," says Jaddo. "I am left with a giant pain in my heart, and a thousand questions about what happened during my son's last hours."

An autopsy was done, but the cause of death is pending the results of toxicology tests, which will likely take four to six weeks.

The mayor says the preliminary report found no evidence of inflicted injuries.

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