City News Service

Vote on Disciplinary Action in Woman's Death While in Custody

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners is scheduled to vote Tuesday on disciplinary recommendations for officers connected to a woman who authorities say committed suicide in a jail cell.

Wakiesha Wilson, 36, died at County-USC Medical Center on March 27, 2016, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said an autopsy determined that the death was a suicide by hanging, but Wilson's family has raised questions about her death, insisting she was not despondent and would not have taken her own life.

In September, Wilson's mother filed a $35 million claim against the city that seeks answers about her daughter's death.

The LAPD said in April it was conducting an internal investigation to determine if officers "complied with LAPD's policies and procedures.''

The board will review Chief Charlie Beck's recommendations on the four officers connected to Wilson's detention, although Beck's report and what he has recommended will not be made public until the board makes a ruling, which will take place in a closed session.

According to the LAPD, Wilson "was arrested by Central Area patrol officers on March 26... after they responded to a medical facility on the 1300 block of Hope Street to investigate a 911 call regarding a person assaulting a patient.''

"When the officers arrived they conducted an investigation and determined that Ms. Wilson had assaulted the victim,'' police said. "Ms. Wilson was taken into custody without the use of any physical force.''

Officers took Wilson to the Metropolitan Detention Center, where she was booked on suspicion of felony battery, police said.

"At about 8:25 a.m. March 27, MDC personnel conducted a safety check of Ms. Wilson's cell and discovered her lying on the floor unconscious and not breathing,'' police said. "MDC personnel immediately requested paramedics and began lifesaving measures to revive her.''

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