Death of man in police custody sparks outrage

Posted: Updated:

Dozens turned out in front of Newburgh City Hall Friday to demand answers in the death of a man that was in police custody.

Friends and family of 25-year-old Nathaniel Cobbs believe police are responsible for his death. Nicole Wheeler, the victim?s girlfriend, apparently called police Sunday when she says Cobbs showed up to her apartment high on PCP.

Police say eight officers and a police dog tried to restrain Cobbs, who fought off the dog. Police say they used a Taser gun to calm the man down. Officers cuffed Cobbs, placed him in leg restraints and put him in the back of a patrol car, police say.

Officers say Cobbs looked sick, so they called for an ambulance when they got back to the station. He died a few hours later at St. Luke?s Hospital. An autopsy was performed Wednesday and suggested a heart condition, mixed with drugs, caused his death.

Cobbs? family disagrees with that assessment. They have collected $11,000 to hire the Rockland County medical examiner to conduct another autopsy. The family is also calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Newburgh Police Department.

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