Agencies: Beaumont Police Department - Texas
Last updated: about 2 months ago
On 1/16/2006 at approximately 1940 hours, Officer K.J. Wilson and Officer D. Fowler of the Beaumont Police Department arrived at 2407 Franklin Street in Beaumont, TX. They were responding to a call for service, which involved a female subject refusing to leave a residence. Reportedly the female subject refused to cooperate with the officers and the decision to arrest was made. Officers had to physically restrain the black female who reportedly hit and kicked both officers and bit Officer Fowler on his arm. Even after she was restrained, in handcuffs, the female reportedly continued to resist officers. After the assistance of more officers on the scene, the female was placed into the rear seat of a Beaumont Police vehicle and additionally restrained with hobbles, and transported to the Jefferson County Detention Center. Officer Wilson and Fowler are shown on detention center video arriving at 8:22:08 pm, in the sally port. Video and reports depict several correctional personnel assisting the officers in taking the unidentified black female from the patrol vehicle. Its apparent, on video, that she is resisting officers as they entered the facility. The booking medical staff (EMT Mark Boozer) is also escorting the female into the facility. Officers report taking the female to the female dress-out room, which is standard policy for unruly persons, so they can be immediately searched and put into a jail uniform. This is shown on jail video. Female Correctional Officers Nobles and Calcote attempted to search and change the female into a uniform. Because of her uncooperative actions male Officers Miller, Gardner, McKeever and Sgt. Mills soon assisted them. EMT Boozer was also reported to be present. The female was very combative, including biting at officers, and the officers were not able to change her into jail clothing. (Note: theres not a camera that covers the change-out area). The decision was made to further restrain the female, by Sgt. Mills and additional restraints were added. This included a belly-chain and leg iron, according to reports. The female was then taken to an isolation cell (B-06) in booking. She is shown to resist movement from the change out room to the isolation cell on jail video and the additional restraints are also visible. According to officers reports, Sgt. Mills made the decision to further restrain the female by securing her to the bench and floor, in a sitting position, in cell B-06. This is accomplished by using a device called a T-bar, which aids in securing the restraints to eyelets in the floor and bench. Sgt. Mills reported that the female continued to resist their instructions and again tried to bite officers that were trying to restrain her. EMT Boozer was also in th cell. Sgt. Mills reported that he made the decision to deploy his department issued Taser in a contact fashion (drive stun) to the females torso. He stated that this was used as a pain compliance technique. According to reports, officers were able to apply the mentioned restraints, as the female calmed slightly. The isolation cell door was closed, while the female continued to scream and be disruptive. The female was in the isolation cell by herself. (Note: Theres not a camera that covers the interior of the isolation cells). Officers are shown on the booking video to routinely check on the female as they passed by the isolation cell. The cell has a solid steel door with a viewing window. In addition, there is a large viewing window to the right of the door. The female restrained to the bench would be clearly visible, through the side window, to passing officers. At 10:50:53 pm the cell door was opened after an officer viewing the female thought that something wasnt normal with her appearance. It was found that she was unresponsive and not breathing. EMT Boozer began CPR and an ambulance was called. Correction officers and additional medical personnel from the jail assisted EMT Boozer. An ambulance arrived and transported the female to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, TX where she was pronounced dead at 11:58 pm. Originally the female refused to give officers her name. She was entered into the jail as Jane Doe. Through investigation, it was determined that her name was Shmekia R. Lewis from Fort Polk, Louisiana. Her identify was confirmed by numerous scars, numerous tattoos and photographs from a previous arrest at another agency. Lewis positive identify was confirmed on the next date with the comparison of fingerprints. I requested that Justice of the Peace Vi McGinnis order and autopsy at the Jefferson County Morgue. I had officers remain with the decedent until she was released to B.J. Transport, to be taken to the morgue. Dr. Brown, of the Jefferson County Morgue, completed the Autopsy. The results of the autopsy were dependent on the findings of the toxicology report. On 2/15/2006, the Jefferson County Morgue report that the toxicology report showed high levels of cocaine in the system of Shmekia Lewis and her death was ruled a narcotic overdose. Justice of the Peace Vi McGinnis will complete the Inquest.