In Syracuse, 23-year-old Alex Rivera died at Upstate University Hospital after Syracuse police responded to an apartment on Teall Avenue where he was staying. Someone had reported that he had taken something and was acting erratically. The police used force and handcuffed Rivera who was later taken to hospital by ambulance. His death is under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office, as required by state law.
Rivera’s family and friends have been left reeling by his death and the lack of information about what happened. They have asked the police to be more forthcoming about their actions during the incident, including why force had to be used and whether there was a delay in responding to the call for help.
Rivera’s sister Jazlyne told Syracuse.com that her brother had been fighting drug addiction for several years and had been in the hospital only a month earlier after an overdose. At that time, he had told his sister that he wanted to get help.
The police have not made public all the details about what transpired when they responded to the call about Rivera. However, the tenants of the apartment where Rivera was staying claimed that they called 911 around 2 a.m. that day, several hours before the police arrived. The tenants also said that the police had used force on Rivera to keep him under control and to keep themselves safe.
Shalea Ligoci, who is a close friend of Rivera and his family, acknowledged that police may have had to use force in the situation but believes that they should be more forthcoming about what they had to do. Ligoci also said that the family wants to know whether the emergency response was delayed and the reasons behind any delay. She saw the tenants’ phone, which had multiple 911 calls from that night starting around 2 a.m.
The investigation into Rivera’s death by the state Attorney General’s Office is ongoing. His family and friends are still struggling to come to terms with their loss and the lack of information about what happened.