Prosecutors Decline to Pursue Charges in Case of Woman Who Died in LAPD Jail Cell

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Prosecutors have declined to pursue charges in the controversial case of a mentally ill woman who authorities say hanged herself in a Los Angeles jail cell, saying there was insufficient evidence proving anyone was criminally responsible for her death.

The decision came after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office reviewed police reports, medical records, interviews with four dozen witnesses and nearly 90 hours of surveillance footage from inside the downtown L.A. jail, according to a report made public Monday.

That evidence indicated that the woman, Wakiesha Wilson, had mental health issues but repeatedly denied feeling suicidal to jail staff before the Easter Sunday in 2016 when she died, the report said. Although Wilson’s cellmate said she later displayed suicidal behavior — yelling “I’m having some thoughts of killing myself!” and wrapping a shirt around her neck — there was not enough evidence to prove detention officers had been notified.

“There is insufficient evidence to prove that a reasonable person would have known that leaving Wilson alone for approximately 33 minutes would result in her death,” the report from prosecutors said. “Wilson’s death was unforeseeable.”

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