- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - State officials say an inmate’s death at a Buffalo jail four years ago was caused by guards who tied a spit mask tightly around his neck.

A report released Tuesday by the Commission of Correction says Richard Metcalf’s death in 2012 was a homicide stemming from inappropriate actions taken by Erie County sheriff’s deputies at the downtown holding center.

The report says the deputies placed a spit mask over Metcalf’s head when he began spitting blood at them after being jailed following a break-in at a business in suburban Buffalo. Officials say a pillow case was also placed over his head.

Metcalf died at a hospital two days later. The official cause of death was initially determined to be a heart attack but the state report says Metcalf died because of the restraint methods used by the deputies.

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