The death of Cleveland woman Ralkina Jones inside a Cleveland Heights jail cell late last month marked the third such passing of a Black woman while in the custody of police. The Cleveland Heights Police Department released around 30 minutes of body cam video which showed Jones speaking to authorities about a variety of health concerns, including her stating that she didn’t want to die inside the jail.
Jones, 37, was detained by police on July 24 for allegedly attacking her ex-husband at his place of work. Facing a handful of charges, Jones was taken into custody and died two days later. What made Jones’ death even more curious was that it occurred during the closing day of a weekend-long gathering of activists in nearby Cleveland working in conjunction to advance policy to protect Black lives.
The video, released on Tuesday afternoon, revealed that Jones was explaining to the authorities that she suffered from a brain injury, allegedly caused by her ex-husband, and needed access to her medication as reported by Cleveland.com.
Jones told the officers she suffered from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which causes lightheadedness and fainting upon standing up. She also said she was taking medication for seizures, ADHD and depression.
Jones also told police about a brain injury she received from abuse from her ex-husband, the man who Jones was accused of assaulting the night of her arrest.
Jones’ sister in an earlier interview also said Jones had a heart murmur.
The officers in the video were cooperative and friendly with Jones. One of them suggested moving her to a cell where she would have access to a phone to speak with her family. But he said her current cell was better situated for jail personnel to monitor her health.
In just 15 hours after letting the officers know of her medical needs, Jones was found dead in her jail cell that Sunday morning around 7:30 a.m. In the time between her last contact with the officers and her death, Jones was seen by a doctor.
Jones’ family said that she appeared to be in fine health when they visited her the Saturday before her death.
The family released a statement via the Cleveland Heights Police Department saying that are awaiting results of a pending investigation into the matter.
SOURCE: Cleveland.com| PHOTO SOURCE: Darrin Kilmek