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Lawsuit Alleges Texas City Negligent in Inmate's Suicide

A local Texas police department is being sued by the parents of a man who committed suicide while in a holding cell earlier this year.

The story starts back on February 27, when the 29-year-old Richmond man fled the scene of a car accident. A police officer witnessed the accident and followed the 29-year-old driver. Upon being pulled over, it was determined that the driver had been drinking. He was charged with driving under the influence and transported to a Richmond city holding cell.

While in the holding cell, the 29 year old made a noose out of a t-shirt, stood on the toilet seat and tied the noose to a metal grate in the ceiling. About three hours later, when the arresting officer returned to the holding cell to transport the inmate to Fort Bend County Jail, he discovered the 29 year old's body.

According to the civil lawsuit filed earlier this month, the 29 year old's death could have been avoided if law enforcement authorities had immediately transported him to the county jail where he would have been more closely monitored. The lawsuit alleges that the city officers were negligent by not monitoring the holding cell's surveillance camera.

The city has not responded to the lawsuit yet.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Inmate's parent's sue city over jail suicide," 11/16/11.

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