STAMFORD — An investigation into the death of a 23-year-old Stamford man who died in police custody last year determined that natural causes led to his death.

On Thursday, the Office of the State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo Jr. for the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk released the results of its investigation into the death of Steven Barrier, who died after being taken into custody by Stamford police on Oct. 23, 2019.

“The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be atherosclerotic coronary artery disease and the manner of death to be of natural causes, according to the report. The autopsy was performed on Barrier at 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 23,” the report said.

“There was no evidence of inflicted injuries found by the medical examiner,” according to the report.

The report said, “there was a concern that a Taser was deployed on October 23, 2019. While there was no evidence of a Taser injury to Mr. Barrier, or any evidence that a Taser was deployed, I requested an analysis of the Tasers deployed to all of the officers working the night of the 23rd. All of the Tasers were downloaded and all reports confirm that no Tasers were deployed.”

An autopsy had previously revealed that Barrier died after suffering a heart attack while in police custody, according to a state medical official. But the young man’s family rejected that finding and continued to blame police for his death.

Barrier’s mother, Valerie Jaddo, said she didn’t believe a word of the autopsy report when it was released last December.

“My son did not have a heart attack. My son never had any medical history about cardiac problems,” she said at the time. “I don’t know where they come up with that. I know they had to come up with something to explain how horrible they treated him. They kicked him and dragged him. When you do that to someone, something is going to happen. Cardiac arrest does not happen like that. The police did something to cause it.”

On Thursday, she said she has seen the body camera images and she still does not believe what the report says. She insists police did not give her son the help he needed, and that’s why he died.

After the autopsy report was released, State Chief Medical Examiner James Gill told the Stamford Advocate it was a heart attack that killed 23-year-old Barrier. He said the condition is seen in some 20- and 30-year-olds that the office has completed autopsies on. Bipolar disorder accompanied with psychotic features can cause agitation, stress and adrenaline, which plays a role in heart disease, Gill said.

In a statement released Thursday, Colangelo recounted the events that led to Barrier’s death.

“The investigation showed that on October 22nd at 11:40:53 p.m., the Stamford Emergency Dispatch Center received a 911 call regarding a domestic violence incident involving Steven Christopher Barrier at a residence in Stamford. (The audio recording was released without the victim’s name as that is protected by statute). Upon arrival the police determined that Mr. Barrier was not at the residence. As part of procedure with domestic violence incidents, a safety plan was discussed with Barrier’s family, including instructions to contact the dispatch center should he return to the home.

“At 1:24:33 a.m., one hour and forty-three minutes after the initial call, contact was made via 911 text message feature to the dispatch center that Mr. Barrier had returned to the residence. As the individual was communicating with dispatch, patrol units began to respond back to 113 West Ave.

“As officers were responding, Mr. Barrier again fled the residence with patrol units chasing him on foot. Mr. Barrier ran through several backyards, hopping fences heading in a southwest direction and ultimately onto the property of Home Depot, located at 1925 West Main St.

“Body worn camera video shows the police taking Mr. Barrier into custody without incident. Mr. Barrier is asked to walk to the police car and he responds that he is tired. The police carry him to a patrol car and the officer asks if he is going to the hospital or the police department, he is told by officers to go to the police department.

“On the ride to the department, Mr. Barrier is heard asking for the air conditioning to be turned on. At this time the officer rolls down the windows. When the officers take Mr. Barrier out of the patrol car they determine that Mr. Barrier has lost consciousness.

“The officers carry him to a holding area and request medical assistance. EMS arrives five minutes and thirty seconds from the time Mr. Barrier is removed from the patrol car. EMS renders medical aid and transports Mr. Barrier to Stamford Hospital where Mr. Barrier receives medical treatment. He does not regain consciousness and is pronounced deceased at 3:10 a.m.,” Colangelo said.

The family of Barrier has questioned why the 23-year-old was not taken to the hospital instead of the police department the night he was apprehended. They say Barrier was in clear distress and was denied medical care.