Family of man who died in Stamford police custody questions why he was denied medical care

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Civil rights groups and a high-profile attorney are calling for more transparency and accountability from the Stamford Police Department in the case involving Steven Barrier, who died while in custody.

The ordeal was captured on a body camera.

Ben Crump, a nationally recognized attorney representing Barrier's family, says they are suspicious of how Stamford police acted the night the 23-year-old died in their custody.

"Especially when you think of all inexplicable actions that were captured on the body cam video by these officers who expressed willful and wanton response to a man who was dying in their care," he said.

Along with the local NAACP and ACLU, Crump sent a letter urging the Stamford Board of Representatives to question the police chief at an emergency hearing.

The letter raises concerns about why the man in distress was denied medical care.

"If somebody has an issue, regardless of what type of medical issue, we think that person should go to the hospital," said Guy Fortt with the Executive Branch Members of NAACP of Stamford.

In the video, an officer is heard saying Barrier was unresponsive and questioned if he was faking it.

Crump called the conduct of officers outrageous and unacceptable.

"They are joking about it, saying he deserves an Oscar for faking," he said. "That's just uncalled for"

The state's attorney says a preliminary autopsy found no evidence of inflicted injury, but the medical examiner is still trying to determine a cause of death.

The president of the Board of Representatives says the death investigation will not come up at Wednesday's regularly scheduled meeting. The city's attorney says both the police chief and state's attorney have met with the Barriers and will provide the family with whatever information they can.

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