Second Video Released of D.C. Man Who Died After Being Detained by Security Guards - NBC4 Washington

Second Video Released of D.C. Man Who Died After Being Detained by Security Guards

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    Second Video Released of D.C. Man Who Died After Being Detained by Security Guards

    D.C. police released a second video Friday evening that shows officers' treatment of Alonzo Smith, the 27-year-old teacher who died after he was detained by private security guards in an apartment complex.

    On the second video D.C. ever has released from a Metropolitan Police Department body camera, a conversation about what happened can be heard between an officer and an apparent superior.

    "Did you find him like this?" the superior asks. 

    An offficer responds, "All I know is that security had to subdue him when he was under the influence of PCP. When we got him, he was already in handcuffs," he says. "We let everybody know he was no longer breathing and began CPR, sir." 

    Smith died Nov. 1 after he was detained by two guards at the Marbury Plaza apartments on the 2300 block of Good Hope Road SE. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Tuesday that 911 dispatchers received at least four calls just before 4 a.m. Nov. 1 about a person yelling. 

    Two D.C. police officers arrived moments later and found the guards had restrained Smith, when then fell unconscious, Lanier said. The officers called an EMS crew, and Smith was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

    Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Roger Mitchell ruled that Smith died of sudden cardiac death complicating acute cocaine toxicity while restrained, a representative for the office said Monday. Compression of Smith's torso contributed to his death, Mitchell said at the briefing Tuesday.

    In the eight-minute-long video released Friday, a guard can be heard telling the officers he believes Smith is on PCP. Smith lies on his back in a stairwell with no shirt or shoes. An officer steps outside and calls for help.

    "Security already has him in handcuffs. Adult male conscious and breathing," the officer says. When he returns to the stairwell, a security guard appears to have his knee pressed against Smith's back.

    Lanier said Tuesday, when the first police body-camera footage of the incident was released, that neither officers nor security guards are trained to use their knees to hold down arrestees. 

    The officers perform CPR on Smith for more than five minutes, cursing and begging him to breathe. One of the officers can be heard on the 8-minute video asking that handcuffs be taken off Smith.

    "When the [ambulance is] here, I don't want these f---ing handcuffs in their way," he says.

    Smith was a Southeast D.C. resident and father of a 6-year-old boy, The Washington Post reported. He worked as a teacher at Accotink Academy Learning Center in Springfield, Virginia, which teaches students with special needs, the paper reported.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser cautioned on Tuesday that the videos  shows only "a small snapshot of what happened."

    "The video does not show how Mr. Smith died, nor does it show whether the use of force was justified or reasonable," she said.

    Smith's mother, Beverly Smith, said Tuesday that she wants answers from police about what led to her son's death. She said she believed security guards were unjustified in hurting him.

    "Even if he did have cocaine in his system or any other drug in his system, it does not give them the right to beat my son to death," the late man's mother said. 

    Blackout Investigations, the company that provides security for the Marbury Plaza complex, declined to comment on Monday about the incident.

    Multiple sources told News4 a grand jury is hearing evidence in the case. It's unclear whether charges will be forthcoming.

    Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411, or calling the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 202-252-7130.