Ralkina Jones: 37-year-old black woman found dead in police custody

'One thing I could say about my sister is she would want us to find out — why?'

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The Independent US

Ralkina Jones was found dead in her jail cell in Cleveland Heights City Jail on Sunday morning.

Cleveland Heights police accused the 37-year-old of striking her ex-husband in the arm with a tire iron outside of a Save-A-Lot food store. She then hopped into her automobile and allegedly came a few feet away from running over her ex and his friend — with her 11-year-old daughter in the backseat.

Police then arrested Ms Jones, however, her ex-spouse decided not to press charges against her.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner performed a preliminary autopsy on Monday and said the woman had suffered no suspicious injuries but a full report is pending. In a statement, officials said that the woman was observed by medical professionals three times from Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

At 7:15pm, officers noticed that Ms Jones appeared sluggish and phoned the Cleveland Heights Fire Department. At 10:40pm, she was released back to the jail after an evaluation at HealthSpan hospital.

At 12:45am, on Sunday, she was checked and her vitals which appeared normal. At 7:30am, she was found unresponsive on her bed.


Renee Ashford, the woman's sister, told Cleveland.com on Monday that her sister was fine when they spoke on Saturday: "She was perfectly fine. She didn't complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything.”

She said the family has begged the department for more information to no avail: "Every time we call we don't get an answer and that's the upsetting part.”

"One thing I could say about my sister is she would want us to find out why? You can't just tell me one minute I see my sister and the next day, she dead."

In 2003, Ms Jones' uncle, Craig Bickerstaff, also died in Cleveland police custody after being shot to death by an officer. In 2014, the family won a lawsuit against the city receiving $22,500, Cleveland.com reported.