“I don’t want to die in your cell.”
Those were some of the last words Ohio mom Ralkina Jones spoke to Cleveland Heights police officers, a mere 15 hours or so before she was found dead in a jail cell, Cleveland.com reports.
Jones, who died July 26, can be seen on body-camera footage talking candidly and calmly to officers, discussing her health issues and the medication that she would need. She was concerned about her health, stating that she suffered from seizures, ADHD (or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), depression and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
The 37-year-old also stated that she had a brain injury stemming from abuse by her ex-husband, whom Jones was accused of assaulting when she was arrested for charges including assault and child endangerment.
“I’m not asking for an exception to any rules, but I will tell you this, I don’t want to die in your cell,” Jones told officers.
Officers speaking with Jones seemed polite and just as concerned, clarifying what medication she needed and was currently taking, and listening to her problems. When Jones complained that her worries had been dismissed by another officer, who apparently yelled at her, one officer said, “I sympathize with you. I addressed them about it. That won’t happen again.”
An officer even recommended that she speak to the department’s victims advocate before offering to move her to a cell where she could have access to a phone to call collect. The officer then explained that because of Jones’ health issues, it might be easier to keep her in her current cell for necessary monitoring.
As Cleveland.com reports, a few hours after that recording, Jones was taken to the doctor after a jail employee thought she seemed “lethargic.” She was evaluated and released a few hours later, with officers checking on her through the night.
The next morning, at 7:30, Jones was found dead in her jail-cell bed.
Jones’ family is still searching for answers regarding the death, saying that she appeared to be fine when they visited her in jail the day before her death. An investigation is under way, and although an autopsy found no suspicious injuries, no cause of death has yet been announced.
Read more at Cleveland.com.