St. Louis, MO (KTRS) – The family of a man who died while in St. Louis police custody is disputing the police version of what happened, but a medical examiner’s report supports the police version of events.
Investigators say 27-year-old Nicholas Gilbert died Tuesday night after a struggle with officers who tried to prevent him from hanging himself in a holdover cell. Police Chief Sam Dotson says Gilbert hit his head on a concrete bench during the struggle.
Gilbert’s mother, says her son was not suicide. The Post-Dispatch reports that Gilbert’s family claims police beat the man.
However, the assistant medical examiner who performed the autopsy found that Gilbert’s injuries were consistent with a struggle and not a beating. The report states that bruises to Gilbert’s chest and a fractured sternum were the result of CPR chest compressions.
The case will be studied by police department’s Force Investigative Unit, which was established to investigate all deaths involving officers.
An earlier version of this story did not include finding of the medical examiner’s report.