Family sues city for $35M over death of woman in LAPD jail cell

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The family of a woman who died in a Los Angeles jail cell is filing a $35 million lawsuit against the city, blaming jail staff for her death and demanding to find out answers.

Wakiesha Wilson, 36, was found dead in her jail cell on Easter Sunday at the Los Angeles Police Department's Metropolitan Detention Center, leaving behind a 13-year-old son.

The coroner ruled her death a suicide by hanging.

But her mother, Lisa Hines, insists her daughter was in good spirits when they spoke earlier that morning and was looking forward to coming home.

"For me there won't be no justice because I'll never have my baby back," Hines said.

She also says Wilson was involved in an altercation with a jail officer shortly before her death.

Jail staff "did in fact hit, strike, and choke Ms. Wilson, which inflicted injuries, damages, and harms on her mind and body, and was a legal cause of her death," the lawsuit alleges.

The family suspects there is surveillance video inside that captured exactly what happened, or who may have seen Wilson last but they haven't been given access.

The lawsuit also states that Wilson had mental-health issues and the jail staff failed to provide her with appropriate care and monitoring.

In a statement, LAPD said it has not reviewed the lawsuit yet and it will reserve comment. "This is still an open Force Investigation Division case that has not been adjudicated yet," the department said. "The Department does not issue statements related to pending litigation."
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