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Sister of man who died in BPD custody in 2013 meets with Commissioner

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Apr 16, 2019

BALTIMORE, Md. — The sister of a man who died in the custody of Baltimore City Police officers back in 2013 met with the department’s new commissioner on Monday.

Tyrone West’s sister, Tawanda Jones, met with Commissioner Michael Harrison at police headquarters in Downtown Baltimore.

West died after a traffic stop in Northeast Baltimore on July 18, 2013. Officers said they saw a bulge in his sock that they suspected was drugs. They chased and tackled him, and West died in handcuffs at the age of 44.

An initial investigation determined that West died from dehydration and a heart condition. But a later independent forensic review revealed it was because he could not breathe.
None of the officers involved in West’s arrest were charged with a crime. Tawanda Jones has led protests every Wednesday since his death; she calls them “West Wednesdays.”

Jones tells WMAR-2 News that she got a “good vibe” from Commissioner Harrison during their meeting. He had heard of her brother’s case, and he talked with her about some of the changes he is making to the Baltimore Police Department.

Some of those changes to the command staff were announced on Monday.

State Senator Jill Carter and some of Tawanda Jones’ family and supporters also attended the meeting.

In 2017, Baltimore City and the State of Maryland agreed to pay Tyrone West’s children a settlement of $1million. Jones was not a part of that settlement, she said, because she wants to keep speaking out against what she considers police brutality.

The 298th “West Wednesday” protest will be this week in Baltimore, near the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus. Students there have been protesting the creation of a new Johns Hopkins University police department.