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Tyrone West cause of death released, investigation continues

December 10, 2013

Baltimore_Police_Department_logo_patch1Tyrone West died of a heart failure that was “complicated by dehydration during police restraint,” according to a press release issued by Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein.

West died on July 18 after city police stopped him in a Mercedes for a traffic violation. Witnesses claimed police pepper-sprayed and beat West after he put his hands up, and the police involved in the action were placed on paid leave.

West’s family has demanded answers ever since. Most autopsy reports are completed within 90 days. The Office of Chief State Medical Examiner finished this one last week, 145 days after the incident, and did not say who is responsible for the death. The “manner” of death is still undetermined, according to the State’s Attorney’s release:

Based on the autopsy and forensic examination, the OCME has concluded that Mr. West’s death was caused from cardiac arrhythmia due to cardiac conduction system abnormality complicated by dehydration during police restraint. The manner of death could not be determined because of an inability to determine the absolute relative contribution of each of the described factors that caused Mr. West’s death. Cardiac conduction abnormalities are common and usually require no treatment, according to the American Heart Association.

The States Attorney’s Office did not release the full report, saying it is still investigating and needs to keep the details secret to protect the integrity of that investigation. West, 44, was sentenced to 20 years for drug dealing in 2000. He was on parole when police stopped his car in July. Police said the car did not immediately stop and that West punch a police officer and ran.

  • chucklehead

    My friend Gary used to have a sneeze that sounded like “horseshirt” and I can hear him as I finish reading this.