Mystery surrounds death of father in NYPD custody

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Ron Singleton died while in police custody, but how he died is still unclear.

That is one reason why his family turned to PIX11 to tell their story to try and try to get closure.

The family’s ordeal started with a phone call from the NYPD on July 13.

Singleton’s sister fighting back tears said, “My brother’s last few minutes of life is being kept a secret and we want to know why.”

Singleton was last seen alive in the back of a cab. In fact, the cab driver called 9-1-1 from the intersection of 51st Street and 5th Avenue, complaining about an out of control passenger in the back seat.

Police responded to the call. They classified singleton as an EDP or an emotionally disturbed person.

Singleton’s cousin, ED Robinson said, “He spoke to his mother from the back of that cab and he was happy upbeat, he would never do anything or cause trouble, but IAB called us to say there was and altercation at the scene.”

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau or IAB called the family and said it was investigating and that it is standard police practice anytime a person dies while in police custody.

Former NYPD Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues tells us the department has it’s work cut out especially given all of the recent cases involving police officers and the use of force.

Whatever the altercation was between singleton and police, whether verbal or physical, it has singleton’s family frustrated over the lack of information.

Robinson said, “Ron was a good guy, he would never act out. We are a law abiding family, we need the system to work for us.”

Singleton’s body was released over the weekend  and Tuesday, the family held a memorial and funeral service.

But the mystery persists.  The preliminary report revealed Singleton died of a heart attack, but the Medical Examiner will have to determine his cause of death.

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