CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio corrections department will conduct a review of the jail where a woman was found dead in a cell last month to help officials determine what happened.
Northeast Ohio Media Group reports (https://bit.ly/1JxWepc) that city officials on Tuesday said Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson had asked the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to investigate last month’s death of 37-year-old Ralkina Jones.
Joellen Smith, a spokeswoman for corrections department, said in an email on Wednesday that her agency will conduct a review of the incident as it pertains to state jail standards. The agency will ask the city for an improvement plan if the review finds areas that don’t meet those standards, Smith said.
Cleveland Heights city manager Tanisha Briley told The Associated Press on Wednesday that state jail officials approved the city’s policies and procedures earlier this year.
“We need to make sure we followed our policies and if our policies are adequate,” Briley said of the request for help from the corrections department.
Jones was found unresponsive in her jail cell around 7 a.m. July 26. She was jailed two days earlier after her ex-husband told police she’d hit him with a tire iron and had tried to run him over with her car.
Paramedics had taken Jones to a medical clinic the night before she died because she appeared lethargic. Police say they continued checking on Jones after she was returned to jail.
A medical examiner has not ruled on a cause of death. He has said he found no suspicious injuries on Jones’ body.
Police body camera footage recorded Jones saying she didn’t want to die in a jail cell about 15 hours before her body was found. The footage also shows her talking about her medical problems, which included a heart condition, seizures and depression.
Northeast Ohio Media Group also reported that city officials have yet to explain gaps in surveillance video of Jones’ cell that was released last week. The video, which officials said was unedited, does not include any footage from a six-hour period prior to Jones’ body being found.
Briley said she could not comment on the video because it’s part of the city’s investigation.
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