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Jailed Woman Sues Over Newborn’s Death

Deshawn Balka

Deshawn Balka was five months pregnant when she went into labor with her child in the Clayton County Jail just outside of Atlanta. In pain and obviously concerned for the early birth, she alleges that she waited three hours for anyone to respond to her cries for help. Minutes before the jail staff even arrived, she delivered her baby in the toilet of her cell. “I wish and I pray that I would have gotten the care that I requested,” Balka said in an emotional interview with Atlanta’s WSB-TV. “It’s wrong, all the way around, it’s completely wrong.”

Now, the 25-year old has filed a lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Kem Kimbrough for inadequate medical care and a slow response to her urgent pleas. Balka was in jail for a probation violation for marijuana possession charge that was later dismissed. “Had the baby arrived at the hospital just a little while earlier the baby would be here with us today,” said Balka’s attorney Rod Dixon. “I just want to cry every day,” Balka added.

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