Video shows Sedgwick County Juvenile Center staff pinning Cedric Lofton down for 30 minutes before he died

Footage released by authorities in Sedgwick County, Kansas late Friday shows employees of a county juvenile center holding a 17-year-old boy on the floor of his cell for more than half an hour. , just two days before his death.

The September 26 death of the teenager, Cedric Lofton, gained national attention after an autopsy report suggested it was a homicide. The county DA has declined to charge the juvenile center employees, but Lofton’s family members have demanded that they be held accountable.

Family said before in a statement through civil rights attorneys Andrew M. Stroth and Steven Hart. “These mindless killings by the authorities must stop! Cedric and his family deserve better.”

According to the local sheriff’s office, Lofton was admitted to the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Evaluation Center on September 26 after his father called to request a mental health assessment. (The father later told investigators that his son had become “paranoid” and believed the students in his class were trying to kill him.) The sheriff’s office said Lofton refused to self-medicate. volunteered and resisted arrest, and was sent to a juvenile center on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

The videotapes, which lasted more than an hour and a half, revealed several things that happened in the time after officers dropped Lofton on the facility. It shows a teenager walking around the lobby and talking to two center employees — it’s unclear what the three men said; video without sound — the last person grabs him and tries to restrain him. When he resisted, they forced him into a nearby cell, where they were accompanied by two other officers. Four people restrained him on the floor for more than 30 minutes before placing him in handcuffs. Minutes later, according to the DA . officethey realized he didn’t have a heartbeat.

EMS officers rushed into the room and re-started Lofton’s pulse rapidly before taking him to the hospital where he would die, two days later, from cardiopulmonary arrest.

An autopsy report released last month suggested that Lofton’s death was a homicide caused by a struggle in a restrained position. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett reiterated as much in a press conference this week, saying that “the struggle that dragged on while he was at [a] The face down position interfered with his breathing, causing his heart’s oxygen supply to be compromised to the point where his heart stopped beating.”

But Bennett declined to bring charges against anyone involved, insisting the juvenile center staff were acting in self-defence and therefore not being prosecuted. He added that none of the staff members said that Lofton indicated he was having difficulty breathing.

“In a general sense, is it reckless?” Bennett talks about employee behavior. “Perhaps. But is it reckless under Kansas law? It’s not.”

The NAACP had previously called on the county to file charges, saying Lofton’s death, “whether negligent or intentional,” was “unconscionable and inhumane.”

The national civil rights group said: “The perpetrator(s) of his injustice must be fully prosecuted. “As a community, city, state and country, we cannot continue with the violent intersection between law enforcement and the black community.”

In a statement through their attorney, the Lofton family called the decision “another case of an unarmed black teenager who was killed with impunity by law enforcement.”

“Similar to the case of George Floyd, Cedric’s death was due to the authorities’ duty to protect him,” they said. “In this case, they restrained Cedric in a prone position and gave him a breather.” Video shows Sedgwick County Juvenile Center staff pinning Cedric Lofton down for 30 minutes before he died


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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