A man who died in police custody on Sunday has been named as Sentry Taitoko.

The 20-year-old from Manurewa died in his cell at Manukau police station early on Sunday after being arrested for breach of the peace.

Multiple investigations into his death were ongoing, police said today.

Mr Taitoko's family issued a statement through police, saying they had "suffered a huge loss''.


"There are many people whose emotions are running high,'' the family said.

"We ask that the public and media have patience regarding the situation as we need police to get on with their investigation into this case, and we ask for our family to be left alone to grieve for our loved one.''

On Monday, police said officers had been called to an address in Manurewa by a member of the public around 1am on Sunday, where they found family members trying to restrain an intoxicated man who was violent and aggressive.

He was arrested and taken to Manukau police station for detoxification.

The man continued to behave in a violent and aggressive manner while in custody. He was placed in a monitored cell and a police doctor assessed his condition, police said.

After 5am he was checked again and found to be suffering from laboured breathing. He was placed in the recovery position and police staff performed CPR until ambulance staff arrived. Paramedics continued CPR for more than 40 minutes.

He was pronounced dead at 6.10am.