Family still looking for answers after man's death following police encounter

Published: Sep. 19, 2018 at 6:11 AM MDT
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The family of a man who

took part in a protest outside the El Paso County Courthouse Tuesday.

They want answers because they still don't know his exact cause of death.

According to an 11 News

, Jeffrey Melvin became entangled with police after officers were called to an apartment complex near East Fountain Boulevard and Chelton Road early in the morning of April 26 on reports of a disturbance. The responding officers didn't find a disturbance but said during a follow-up investigation they saw a man run into an apartment, slam the door, and try to barricade himself inside. That allegedly led to a fight between officers and the man, identified as Melvin by his friend Jordan Bruno, who was there at the time.

"He tried to get away and jump out the window. They pulled him back in. Then immediately he asked for my help, when I tried to help him out the cops pepper sprayed me, they kept on tazing my friend," Bruno told 11 News.

Police confirmed they did use a stun gun and pepper spray on two men at the scene.

Melvin was brought to UCHealth Memorial Hospital and died there a few days later. Police told 11 News back then that medical staff indicated initial tests showed several drugs in his system when he died.

There’s now a memorial up where the April 26 incident happened. Melvin’s family says they still have no closure.

"When we initially talked to the coroner's office and CSPD, they said it was going to take foyur to six weeks. Six weeks went by,” said Melvin's sister Taneesha.

It’s now been almost 20 weeks since he died. 11 News has asked the coroner for the autopsy report ever since then, but they keep telling us it’s not ready.

When 11 News asked the coroner's office what is taking so long, they told us sometimes it takes a while to get specific testing done. They most recently told our crew they hope to have the autopsy results the first week of October.

Melvin's family filed a complaint with CSPD after his death, and an internal investigation was opened.

"I'm angry, we haven't had anyone contact us back about any part of the investigation. It's like we were blown off,” Taneesha Melvin said.

Springs police denied 11 News’ request to see the body camera footage of the incident.

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