MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Family of Justin Griffin, the man who died while in police custody Sunday, said they aren’t blaming police for his death.
Griffin’s twin sister and grandmother spoke with News 8 on Monday. While they declined to go on camera, they said he fell 12 feet from a ledge and hit his head the day before he was picked up by officers.
“Justin had a long road in his life,” his grandmother, Arlene Bender told News 8. “He did the best he could. We’re very sad. Justin was a good person. He had a good heart.”
“We followed our policy right to a ‘T’ the entire night,” said Michael Devito, Milford police spokesperson.
According to CT State Police, Milford police picked up the 31-year-old on an outstanding warrant for a firearms violation during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon.
Police said while he was being processed. Griffin showed signs of being lethargic and requested medical evaluation.
“He was very pale, very weak,” said officer Michael Devito, Milford police. “They immediately summoned paramedics from the fire department.”
Police said while he was being processed, Griffin showed signs of being lethargic and requested medical evaluation.
Griffin was transported to Milford Hospital and was under observation of emergency room staff for five hours.
Around 11 p.m., Griffin was released back into police custody.
Police said at 5:13 a.m. Sunday morning, he was found unresponsive during a prisoner check.
Griffin was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at the hospital around 6 a.m.
This incident is under investigation by the CT State Police’s major crimes squad. The exact cause of death is unknown.
Some of Griffin’s family said they don’t think officers caused his death.
“The police have been wonderful,” Bender said.