Los Angeles

Lawsuit Filed in Death of Los Angeles County Jail Inmate Who Suffered From Schizophrenia

Leon Nyarecha tearfully recounts the day his younger brother died while in Los Angeles County Sheriff's custody at the Men's Central Jail last June.

"Lewis was my little brother," he said. "The day he died was the worst day of my life."

Leon Nyarecha is now suing the county and the sheriffs department for negligence and battery.

"He suffered from schizophrenia," said attorney Jovan Blacknell. "He had a lethal dose of prescription medication in his body ... Someone should have monitored his doses. They should have monitored his intake of those doses."

The complaint alleges that Nyarecha's medication was increased by 300 percent by doctors at Men's Central and that he was not checked on for 18 hours after he was given his medication.

When the deputies went to check on him they pulled him from a top bunk and they dropped him on his head, said Jaaye Person-Lynn, another attorney.

Leon says his brother was in jail awaiting sentencing for a trespassing charge and was optimistic about getting better.

"We planned once he was released from jail we would join and learn more about his mental illness," his brother said.

Leon now wants justice for his brother and a change in how mentally ill patients are treated in jail.

"We need to learn all these protocols so nothing like this happens again," he said.

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