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November 23, 2014

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N.Y. police boss defends response in custody death

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AP Photo/New York Daily News, Julia Xanthos, Pool, File

FILE - In this July 23, 2014 file photo, Eric Garner’s body lies in a casket during his funeral at Bethel Baptist Church in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Garner died in police custody after an officer placed him in an apparent chokehold. Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan announced Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, that an extra grand jury will be impaneled to hear evidence next month in the July 17 death of Garner. Donovan says his decision is based on his office’s investigation and the medical examiner’s ruling that the death was homicide.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's police commissioner says it appears officers acted appropriately toward a drug user who died in custody after being put in a protective body wrap.

Ronald Singleton's death was ruled a homicide Friday. The medical examiner's office says physical restraint by police was a factor, along with severe intoxication from the hallucinogenic drug PCP and heart disease.

Police say Singleton was acting erratically in a taxi July 13.

Commissioner William Bratton on Monday stressed the term "homicide" is a medical definition and doesn't mean an officer did something wrong. He says the officers were trying to protect Singleton from hurting himself and others.

Prosecutors are investigating. The police department will then do an investigation.

Singleton's death came days before a videotaped chokehold by police left another man dead.

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