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PBA President: Officers Shouldn't Be Held Responsible for Death of Man on PCP

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The head of the city's police union says officers shouldn't be held responsible for the death of a man on PCP in their custody.

It comes a day after the medical examiner ruled 45-year-old Ronald Singleton's death a homicide.

It happened on July 13, four days before Garner's death.

According to police, a cab driver flagged down an officer near St. Patrick's Cathedral along Fifth Avenue.

They say the cabbie was complaining about a passenger who was cursing and screaming.

They say 45-year-old Ronald Singleton got out and starting trying to fight with the police officer.

Police say Singleton was placed in a "protective body wrap" and put in an ambulance.

Investigators say he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The medical examiner said his death was due to "physical restraint by police during excited delirium," adding that hypertension, cardiovascular disease and obesity were contributing factors as well.

The ME said Singleton was also high on PCP at the time.

His wife says she wants to take action.

"My husband shouldn't have died the way he did and when I found out that the case was ruled as a homicide, now I need to seek justice. My husband was a wonderful father—my best friend," she said.

In a statement Saturday, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in part, "Our members follow department protocols designed to best insure the safety of the drug abuser and of the police officers who are attempting to get the individual the necessary medical aid.The responsibility for the outcome lies entirely with the drug abuser, not the police officers attempting to remove him as a danger to the public and himself.”

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