Police investigating death of inmate in Jefferson County, family wants answers

Local News

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Questions surrounding the death of an inmate in Jefferson County has his family demanding answers. 

“I want answers,” sister, Tamara McBride said. “I can’t sleep.”

Monday the family is speaking publicly for the first time. They said they want justice and they need to know what exactly happened.

“We not going to stop man, we need justice, that’s all we want man,” brother Marquise Carter said. “Like, this should’ve never happened man.”

 The Internal Affairs Division (IAD) of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a detainee.

According to investigators, 18-year-old Dezmen X. McBride was arrested May 21 for a terroristic act.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said on June 5th — staff at W.C. “Dub” Brassell Detention Center noticed McBride wasn’t feeling well and called for an ambulance. 

He was transported to Jefferson Regional Medical Center where he later died.

What exactly happened though is still unclear.

“We sent in a request, asking for video footage of the cameras because they do have cameras in there,” family friend and local activist, Donald Muhammad said.

“As sheriff, I am firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in our custody.” Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. said

He went on to say he offers his deepest condolences and prayers to the family.

“We repeatedly came up to the office to ask to speak to him and to get questions, turned us around every time,” McBride said.

A cause of death is still unknown pending results of an autopsy but the family wants more details sooner than later. 

“We feel like a person cannot investigate themselves. Okay, it happened on Jefferson County’s watch, Jefferson County is not sufficient enough to investigate themselves,” Muhammad said. 

The investigation is ongoing, and the sheriff’s office said they will release more information once it’s available.

The family has a press conference and peace march planned for Tuesday.

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