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Death Ruled Homicide For East Baltimore Man Who Died In Police Custody

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- He died in police custody and now the medical examiner has labeled Anthony Anderson's death a homicide.

Mike Schuh has more on what's in the autopsy report and reaction from the victim's family.

Initially, police said he choked on drugs but according to this autopsy report, that's not true. Now his family is demanding justice.

The report from the Office of the Medical Examiner confirms what the family of Anthony Anderson, 46, already believed. His death in police custody was ruled a homicide.

"We want these officers fired. We want them arrested and we want them convicted," said Anderson's sister, Nancy Harvey.

Anderson died Sept. 21 as he was leaving a liquor store near Montford Avenue and Biddle Street in East Baltimore.

Multiple witnesses say an officer investigating drugs grabbed Anderson from behind, hoisted him into the air and slammed him down on the pavement, leaving him unresponsive.

"They even got to the point they was trying to tell him to get up and they was kicking him. He never moved," said a witness.

The official cause of death: massive internal bleeding from blunt force injuries, including a ruptured spleen and multiple fractured ribs. His family's attorney says that justifies second-degree murder charges against the officer and a civil lawsuit.

"I'm hoping that this officer will not be treated any differently than anyone else who murders someone in the streets of Baltimore City, because that's what this family and that's what I consider it to be," said J. Wyndal Gordon, the family's attorney.

Anderson's death sparked protests, marches and cries of police brutality. Police say it's all still under investigation.

"We just want to make it clear that we do not have a problem with the Baltimore City police department. We have a problem with the officers that brutally attacked Tony. We have a problem with the officers that made jokes. We have a problem with the officers that did not get him medical assistance when he needed it," Harvey said.

A spokesman says after the investigation is over, the city state's attorney will decide what, if any, charges should be filed against the officers involved. There's no timetable on when that could happen.

The police union president told WJZ's media partner, The Baltimore Sun, he believes the evidence will show the officers followed police protocol in taking down Anderson and that he died as a result of his fall.

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