Tyrone West: One year later

BALTIMORE - Friday marks one year since a man died while in the custody of Baltimore City police. Family members say he was beaten to death.

Tyrone West died on a Wednesday, and every Wednesday for the past 52 weeks members of his family have protested either at the medical examiner's office, City Hall or the State's Attorney's Office.

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“All we have asked for since day one is justice for our loved one. We have been given the runaround. There has been no transparency to my family we have been lied to and enough is enough,” said Diane Butler, West’s aunt.

In December, now-outgoing City State's Attorney Greg Bernstein announced that he had determined the officers acted within appropriate guidelines.  He said West resisted arrest and a gram of cocaine was found in his car.

“Our investigation concluded that none of the officers involved in this incident acted with the intent to cause death or serious physical injury,” Bernstein said at a news conference at that time.

But a separate investigation by a panel of experts not connected with the Baltimore Police Department has not been completed, which means family members still have not been able to review Tyrone West's autopsy report.

“How dare you keep this from my family.  How dare you,” Butler said.

City Councilman Carl Stokes supports the outside review, but he's hoping it wraps up soon.

“I would have hoped, I would have thought that we would have had a full resolution particularly for the family of Mr. West by now,” he said.

The family has also filed a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
On Friday they'll be back at the spot where Tyrone West died -- to remember him, and to continue pressuring city officials for more information.

“Those 11 officers, or more that they're not telling us about they're still on the street,” said Tawanda Jones, Tyrone West’s sister.

A spokesman for the Baltimore City Police Department said that because that task force is operating independently of the department, it's not clear how long it's going to take to complete the investigation into West's death.

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