Number Three: Another Black Woman Found Mysteriously Dead in Police Custody
Number Three: Another Black Woman Found Mysteriously Dead in Police Custody © Family Photo
01:26 29.07.2015(updated 06:30 29.07.2015) Get short URL
On Sunday, 37-year-old Ralkina Jones became the third black woman to be found dead in US police custody in less than a week.
Jones, who had an 11-year-old daughter, was arrested on July 24, and was taken to Cleveland Heights City Jail in Ohio.
On Friday evening, Jones was accused of hitting her ex-husband in the arm with a tire iron outside his place of employment. It is alleged that she then nearly ran him and his friend over with her car, with her child in the back seat.
Despite her ex opting not to press charges, Jones was taken into custody, where she remained until she was discovered deceased on Sunday.
The medical examiner’s office stated “the death does not appear to be suspicious,” and an autopsy conducted Monday reportedly revealed no “suspicious injuries.” The full report from the office is still pending.
At around 7:15 PM on Saturday evening, officers observed that Jones appeared “sluggish.” The fire department was called and Jones was released back into her cell at 10:40 following a hospital evaluation.
“How do you release someone within two hours from going to an ER room? You know, just in such a hurry to take her back to jail,” Jones’ sister, Renee Ashford said, according to WOIO.
“If she made a mistake and made the wrong decisions, she doesn’t deserve to be neglected, knowing she has health issues,” another sister, Rita Samuels, told WOIO.
At 12:15 AM officers checked her vitals and reported that they appeared to be normal, but she was found dead in her bed 6 hours and 45 minutes later.
“[My sister] would want us to find out why,” Ashford told Cleveland.com. “You can’t just tell me one minute I seen my sister, then the next day she dead. That don’t even make sense. And it’s just, ‘I can’t help you. I can’t tell you.’ Like, no. That’s un-human.”
Ashford told Cleveland.com that her sister had been taken to the hospital on Saturday related to her blood pressure and sugar levels, but that her family visited the same day and stated that she seemed completely normal.
“She was perfectly fine. She didn’t complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything,” Ashford said.
The department has not released any further information to her family, despite their many phone calls begging for answers.