WASHINGTON - There are new questions being raised about the in-custody death of Alonzo Smith. The teacher’s assistant was found handcuffed and unresponsive in the hallway of a Southeast D.C. apartment building on Nov. 1 in the custody of two special police officers with Blackout Investigations and Security Services.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital an hour later.
D.C. police have confirmed on Tuesday that the two special police officers involved have had their police powers revoked. That means they cannot carry a gun or handcuffs on any security property in the District of Columbia.
Their names have not been released and we are told by police that is because this is all still under investigation.
The medical examiner has still not ruled on a cause and manner of death for Smith.
No one from Blackout has said anything about what may have happened.
"They are in hiding,” said Smith’s mother, Beverly. “Why are they keeping their identity a secret? I don't understand that. Why in the world would they put on the police report ‘Justifiable Homicide?’ Justifiable homicide? That means you did something to him.”
We went to the office of Blackout Investigations and Security Services in Waldorf, Maryland, but no one answered their door. Blackout has the contract to provide security at the Marbury Plaza Apartments.
On a video advertising its services and posted to YouTube, Blackout says it documents every incident involving its officers.
"Documentation and report writing are a crucial part of our daily job function,” the video said. “Blackout guards are required to document their actions -- foot patrol and vehicle patrol -- as well as incidents that occur during their shifts.”
At Marbury Plaza on Tuesday, a manager politely told us he would not comment and gave us a number to call at the management company for the complex. No one has called us back.
We also knocked on doors again in the building where Smith was found, but learned nothing new.
"I want the identity of those security officers to be made known now,” said Beverly Smith. “If this was a regular police officer, their identity would be known. What is the cover-up?"
We did reach an attorney for Blackout, but he declined to answer any questions about the officers or their status. He did tell us though it was his understanding the investigators with D.C. police were waiting for the cause and manner of death from the medical examiner before making any determination on what, if any, charges should be filed.
We took a look at some records involving Alonzo Smith. He was involved in a couple of scrapes in the months just before he died. One was a fight he got into with his girlfriend and another was a fight he got into with his uncle. He was arrested in both of those incidents, but there is no indication at this point that either of those had anything to do with what happened to him on Nov. 1.
Smith’s mother believes that he was beaten to death. She said the funeral director told her his neck was broken, he had a broken collarbone, his eyes were swollen and he had bruises around his groin.