Official: Death of suspected shoplifter deemed a homicide

Posted: Updated:
FLATBUSH -

The death of a suspected shoplifter who was restrained inside a Flatbush grocery store has been ruled a homicide by the medical examiner's office. 

New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says 51-year-old Ralph Nimmons went into sudden cardiac arrest during the incident five months ago.  

Witnesses told News 12 in April that they believed he was shoplifting from Stop & Shop. His family and their lawyer say that's no excuse for violence.

MORE: Activists urge Stop and Shop boycott after suspected shoplifter dies

“They got to really train workers not to get involved with security things that security is supposed to take care of,” said Nimmons’ uncle Bonezlee. 

A spokesperson with the grocery chain told News 12 that it’s cooperating with law enforcement. But the family isn't convinced what happened to their nephew won't happen again. 

“We're calling on the [district attorney] to step in and bring this to a grand jury,” said Bonezlee Nimmons. 

No arrests have been made as both the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office and the NYPD continue their investigation. 

The family has called for a boycott of the store until either its shut down or until Stop & Shop changes its hiring process.

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