The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department has begun a “death investigation” after an unarmed black teacher’s assistant who was screaming for help was found in possession of a special police force, unconscious and not breathing, and was later pronounced dead.
According to Fox5DC, the police department in Washington, D.C. received three calls at around 4 a.m. Sunday about an “assault in progress.” Alonzo Smith was eventually in the custody of private police force based out of Maryland and working security for the Marbury Plaza Apartments, but have no affiliation with the D.C. police. When D.C. officers arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Smith handcuffed on the second floor and tried to administer CPR. Smith pronounced dead at 5:08 a.m.
According to the family’s attorney, the relatives are both inconsolable and trying to figure out why the initial police report was termed “justifiable homicide” before being changed to a “death investigation.”
The station also reported that witnesses heard the man running down the hall yelling, “Help! Help! They’re going to kill me!” No one knows at this time who Smith was referring to when he said “they.”
The attorney for the family said Smith’s relatives are also angry because they have not been given access to the autopsy report have been allowed to see the body. They only know that he was Smith was beaten. He was alive when the private police force took him into custody, but there is no word yet as to what Smith may have done to be apprehended by the private police force hired to work security at the apartment complex
Smith was a teacher’s assistant at Accotink Academy Learning Center in Springfield, Va., near the District of Columbia, for the last three and a half years. He was also a portrait model at The Art League in Alexandria.