Yet another black woman has died while in police custody. Ralkina Jones, 37, died in the Cleveland Heights, Ohio jail this past Sunday. While preliminary autopsy results indicate “no suspicious injuries,” the Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of death upon further investigation
Ms. Jones was arrested Friday when she vandalized her ex-husband’s car with a tire iron, then attacked him with the same weapon. He chose not to press charges, but Ms. Jones was taken into custody and booked into the local city jail.
Police state that upon her arrival at the jail, Ms. Jones’ medical history was documented, which showed she was being treated for several as yet unnamed medical conditions. Police insist that she received her prescribed medications as directed. Officials go on to state that Ms. Jones was checked a total of 3 times within 6 hours, from Saturday evening into Sunday morning. These checks included the following:
- At 7:15 pm on Saturday, an officer witnessed Ms. Jones acting “sluggish” and called the Fire Department.
- Paramedics took Ms. Jones to Healthspan, where she was evaluated, released and returned to the jail at approximately 10:40 pm.
- Paramedics were again called to the jail at 12:45 am on Sunday morning to check on Ms. Jones, but her vital signs were determined to be normal and (apparently) no treatment was rendered.
Officers observed Ms. Jones during what they state were ‘routine jail checks’, eventually finding Ms. Jones unresponsive on the bed at 7:30 am Sunday morning.
OK – I get it. This woman may (or may not) have had a pre-existing condition. At this point it’s hard to say. But seriously. My miniature dachshund stands a better chance of staying alive in her kennel than black men and women do while in police custody. Can it really be this hard to prevent people dying in their jail cells?
Family members react to the news of her death:
It remains to be seen if the care and/or attention Ms. Jones received contributed to her death. At what point does this morph from just ANOTHER coincidence into a pattern of behavior that needs serious investigation?
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