Ralkina Jones, 37, died (according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office) at the Cleveland Heights City Jail on Sunday, reports WKYC. Jones was arrested Friday, July 24, after officers responded to a fight between her and an ex-spouse. According to the police report, Jones smashed the windshield of her ex-spouse’s Ford Expedition, swinging a tire iron and attempting to hit him with her vehicle.
Jones’s 12-year-old daughter was in the backseat of her vehicle. She was arrested and held on charges of felonious assault, domestic violence and child endangerment. Jones was being treated for several documented medical conditions when she arrived at the jail, and she was given her prescribed medicine as directed. On Saturday, a jail administrator noticed that she appeared to be “lethargic” and she was taken to HealthSpan. She returned to the jail shortly before 11 p.m.
Around 12:45 a.m., paramedics were called again to check her vitals. Everything appeared to be normal. Ralkina Jones was observed throughout the night during routine jail checks. Shortly after 7:30 a.m., she was found unresponsive in her jail cell bed. The Medical Examiner has now completed an autopsy and says the death doesn’t appear “suspicious,” but remains under investigation.
According to Reuters, the Waller County district attorney investigating the death of Sandra Bland said on July 27 that outside attorneys will assist with the probe, which likely will go to a county grand jury in August. The 28-year-old Bland was found hanged July 13 in a Waller County Jail cell days after her July 10 arrest following a minor traffic offense. Lewis White, a former prosecutor and defense attorney, and Houston attorney Darrell Jordan will lead a review committee. Judge Greg Mathis also stated the case is expected to go before a Waller County grand jury in August, as long as the Texas Rangers and FBI reports are completed.
On July 23, a veteran LAPD officer was sentenced to 16 months in jail after authorities said she kicked and struck a handcuffed woman who later died, reports the Associated Press. The officer, Mary O’Callaghan, 50, was sentenced to the maximum three years in jail, but a judge suspended the last 20 months. A police dashboard camera revealed Officer O’Callaghan kicking Alesia Thomas, 35, in the groin, abdomen and thigh and punching her in the throat. Thomas was pronounced dead at a hospital. Officer O’Callaghan was not charged in the death Thomas, but was found guilty of assault under color of authority during Thomas’s 2012 arrest in a child abandonment case.
Also on July 23, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced they will not convene a jury to convict Miami Beach Police Officer Jorge Mercado of any crime, and will not bring charges for the Taser-induced death of 18-year-old graffiti artist Israel “Reefa” Hernandez-Llach, reports The Miami New Times. In August 2013, Hernandez-Llach was caught tagging at McDonald’s in Miami Beach. Hernandez-Llach fled when police approached him, and a police chase ensued. Officer Mercado caught up with Hernandez-Llach and fired an X26 Taser stun gun once. One prong hit him near his chest right near his heart, and Hernandez-Llach died.
For the first time, Florida medical examiners ruled the death was a result of heart failure due to a Taser. Prosecutors considered bringing charges of murder and manslaughter against Mercado, but determined that his action didn’t meet the legal definition of either. They believe that since he was using a weapon designed to be ideally nonlethal, he had no expectation that his actions would lead to the Hernandez-Llach’s death (though Taser warns against aiming for the chest). No Florida police officer has been charged for an on-duty shooting since 1989.
According to WHIO-TV, a Dayton man who died early last Thursday when two Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies shot him was struck multiple times, ruling his death as a homicide. The shooting occurred just after midnight in Harrison Township when the deputies went to help Dontae Martin, 34, who had crashed his vehicle into a parked car. He reportedly had a handgun. The deputies say they ordered him to drop the gun multiple times, but he refused. The deputies fatally shot Martin.
Martin was then taken to Grandview Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The sheriff’s office said Martin pointed the gun at both deputies before they shot him multiple times. Deputies Gus Teague and Josh Haas are on paid administrative leave while the department completes an internal investigation. Neither deputy had his cruiser lights on when they responded to the crash, which would have activated their body mics and in-car cameras. There is no cruiser video of the shooting.