GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The death of Marcus Smith, a man who died in Greensboro Police custody in September, has been ruled a homicide, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).
The OCME released the autopsy report for Marcus Deon Smith Friday, including its investigation and toxicology reports, and say that Smith died of cardiac arrest due to restraint. The report also indicates that Smith had ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of the death and that he also had a underlying heart problems.
This all stems from an incident back on September 8th, 2018. Greensboro Police say Marcus Deon Smith was "suicidal" and "disoriented" and running in and out of traffic in downtown Greensboro. The press release from September says while officers were attempting to transport him for mental evaluation, the subject became combative and collapsed. Both EMS and on-scene officers began rendering aid and Smith was transported to a hospital where he later died.
Keep in mind, a ruling of "homicide" by the OCME does not indicate anything criminal. According to the SBI, "homicide" helps differentiate between a natural cause of death and a death caused by something else. It doesn't mean that there was any wrong-doing or negligence. It also doesn't mean that there wasn't. That's all for the District Attorney's Office to decide.
The City of Greensboro sent a release Friday afternoon saying they're filing a petition with Guilford County's Superior Court to request the release fo the body camera footage in this case.
"Due to the multitude of factors that led to the tragic circumstances for Mr. Smith, detailed in the NC Department of Health and Human Services Medical Examiner report, the City of Greensboro believes there is a compelling public interest to share the video," the statement reads, in part.
The city says additional details after a judge makes a ruling on the petition.
Earlier this month, Smith's family came to Greensboro from South Carolina to push for the officers involved to be held accountable and for policy change.
After Smith's father viewed the body camera footage with an attorney, they called on City Council to release the body camera footage. In a written statement, they say Smith was "hogtied" and died as a result. It reads in part:
"...Marcus was not attacking the officers. He may have been acting erratically, but he wasn't trying to hurt anyone.
Marcus asked the officers for help, but instead of being offered help, four white officers used as much force as possible without directly hitting or shooting him. There were 9 officers on scene, and four that came in direct contact with him. They could have used other methods to restrain him. 'Hog tying' him was completely unnecessary."
Before the autopsy was released, Greensboro Police said all forms of restraints used are well within national standards. The Police Department says we can expect a statement regarding the information in the autopsy report.
The autopsy also indicates Smith had been hospitalized for combativeness and drug-issues before after using cocaine, molly and meth. It says he had a medical history involving smoking, hypertension and alcoholism.
Now that the autopsy report is out, the SBI says they'll take their findings to the Guilford County District Attorney's Office. Those findings are expected to get to the DA's office next week.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.