Hours Before Her Death, Ralkina Jones Said She Didn’t Want To “Die In Jail”

Photo: West Coast Surfer / Mood Board/Rex/REX USA.
Newly released body-camera footage of a Cleveland woman who was found dead in a jail cell last month reveals her telling police officers that she was fearful of dying during her incarceration. Ralkina Jones, 37, was arrested on charges of domestic assault and child endangerment on July 24. After being taken into police custody, she was captured on video explaining her medical conditions and needs to officers; roughly 15 hours later, she was no longer alive. “I’m not asking for any exception to any rules, but I will tell you this: I don’t want to die in your cell,” Jones clearly says on the recording. She also told the officers that she needed her medication: a generic version of Xanax, an anti-epileptic drug, and Adderall. Moreover, she is shown saying that her postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome — a.k.a. POTS, which causes those with the condition to undergo a massive heart-rate leap when they go from lying down to standing — is a “main concern.” “What happens is, when I go from a sitting to a standing position, I faint,” she explained. The officers indicated to her that she would be detained in a nearby cell so that she could be monitored. One also assured her that officers wouldn't impede her from taking her medications: "I sympathize with you,” says the officer wearing the body camera, adding that he'd addressed the other officers about yelling at her earlier on. "That won’t happen again.” Jones was later taken to the hospital for examination because police believed she looked "lethargic." She was returned to the jail at 10:40 p.m., and according to police checked on throughout the night. At 7:30 a.m., however, police reported finding Jones unconscious; she was pronounced dead by paramedics on site. Though an initial autopsy report came back without noting any suspicious injuries, Jones' family is pushing for further information. Cuyahoga County medical examiners have yet to uncover the exact cause of death.

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