UPDATE: 10:02 p.m. – The Richmond City Sheriff’s Office confirmed late Monday that there was a death of an inmate while in custody.
“The Richmond Fire Department, RAA [Richmond Ambulance Authority], emergency rescue units, and Richmond Police Department were immediately notified of a medical emergency with an inmate,” a spokesperson said in an email to 8News. “RPD conducted an initial review of the scene, reporting no apparent foul play. At this time, we are waiting for the city medical examiner to determine the cause of death. All protocols of the Department of Corrections investigation and review are being followed as required.”
8News also reached out to Richmond Police for information on this case, but a spokesperson said they “do not have any information.”
Central District Administrator LaKeshia Johnson with the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that they do have the decedent, but that the cause and manner of death is currently pending.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Councilmember Reva Trammell, who also serves as Chair of the Public Safety Standing Committee, is calling for a state investigation into the Richmond City Justice Center, after the reported death of an inmate.
According to deputies inside the jail, a female inmate died on Monday, Nov. 14, just three days after being admitted for drug possession charges and an assault charge.
Trammell, who also used to work at the jail, said she was told it was an overdose death and that the inmate was supposed to be receiving detox medications.
However, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told 8News late Monday, “There was not an overdose here at the Richmond City Jail.” Despite multiple calls, emails and going to the jail in person, no one from the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office would confirm to 8News whether there had been a death in custody.
“I need to know the safety of our deputies and the safety of those other inmates in there,” Trammell said. “They are scared to death.”
8News previously reported on staffing shortages and assaults at the Richmond City Justice Center. On Monday, a hiring advertisement was playing on the electronic board outside the jail.
“Where’s the leadership?” Trammell said. “How many more people got to die in that jail or suffer in that jail before somebody says, ‘Enough is enough?'”
Trammell said she would be writing a letter to the Office of the Attorney General to investigate the Richmond City Justice Center.
The Public Safety Standing Committee is set to meet Tuesday afternoon, but Trammell said she would have needed to provide Sheriff Antoinette Irving with more advanced notice before discussing a topic such as this reported inmate death at that meeting.
“[The deputies] said the drugs in there is like candy,” Trammell said. “[Irving’s] the one that’s over top of that jail. Not us, not the mayor.”