Family Says They've Received Few Answers After Death of Man in Custody of Security Guards

Two private security officers involved in the death of a man at a D.C. apartment complex are no longer working there -- but the family of 27-year-old Alonzo Smith says they haven't heard much about the investigation into his death.

Tuesday night, Smith's family held a vigil in Southeast D.C., marking one month since Smith died after being placed in the custody of special police officers working at the complex.

Smith's loved ones gathered in front of the Marbury Plaza apartments on Good Hope Road SE to call for an independent investigation into his death.

Just after 4 a.m. Nov. 1, D.C. police were called to Marbury Plaza for the report of an assault in progress. In a press release, authorities said police that responded to the scene found Smith handcuffed and in the custody of the special officers. He was unconscious and not breathing.

Officers performed CPR, but Smith died a short time later at a local hospital.

Smith's mother, Beverly Smith, says she viewed her son's body at the medical examiner's office.

"He had a broken neck, bruises on his chest, a swollen jaw," she said.


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Family members are upset that the D.C. police officer who wrote the report initially classified the death as a "justifiable homicide," which officials later said was an error.

Beverly Smith says that, a month later, she still knows very about what D.C. police have been calling a "death investigation."

"We know it's been referred to the U.S. Attorney's office," she said, and they know the officers have been placed on leave.

Blackout Investigations, the company that provides security for the Marbury Plaza complex, has not commented.

Beverly Smith says she is especially upset that the security company has not reached out to her with condolences.

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