Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Four African American Women Die In Jail In 4 Weeks

Four  African-America women dead in jail cells in the span of a month raises questions related to inmate related to jailhouse personnel oversight and supervision. It also has led some folks I know to ask WTF is up?

Monday, July 27th, 2015 a 44-year-old mother of eight was found dead in a Mount Vernon Police Department jail cell.

Officers reportedly thought she was simply sleeping.


Raynette Turner had been arrested on Saturday for allegedly shoplifting and had been taken to the Mount Vernon Police Department to be held pending her arraignment.

On Sunday, she began to complain of feeling ill and was taken to the hospital for treatment, but she was released afterward back into the care of the prison.

On Monday, Turner was found unresponsive in her holding cell at around 2 p.m. She had last been seen conscious sometime between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., and the last note made by officials indicated that Turner had been seen turned over on her side and looked like she was sleeping.

There was no indication of foul play, and officials noted that she had recently had a bariatric surgery and had a history of hypertension.

The Sunday preceding the Monday Turner was found dead thirty-seven-year-old Ralkina Jones was found dead in her jail cell Sunday, according to Cleveland Heights police officials.

According to a Cleveland Heights police department news release, Jones was arrested Friday night on domestic violence and assault charges stemming from an incident with an ex-spouse.

Jones appeared lethargic Saturday evening and was transported to "HealthSpan" facility near the jail. She was evaluated by medical personnel and re-released to the Cleveland Heights jail later that night.

Sunday morning, around 7:30 in the morning, Jones was found unresponsive in her cell.

The Cleveland Heights Police said this:

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is currently investigating Ms. Jones’s cause of death. The autopsy was completed today and it revealed no suspicious injuries. The exact cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner pending further studies.

Jones and Turner's deaths coincides with the news of Sandra Bland in Texas and Kindra Chapman in Alabama. Chapman committed suicide in a Homewood City jail cell, according to her family and police officials.

Bland's cause of death is still under investigation though police officials suspect Bland hung herself using a plastic trash bag.

Are these jail deaths a trend that has suddenly been cast under the spotlight because of the national notoriety garnered by Bland's case?

Are jail officials not paying enough attention to newly arrested women and missing signs something is amiss? What can be done to curb the deaths of newly arrested inmates?

Your thoughts?

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