Questions Remain After Woman Dies in Custody of Ohio Jail

This video features Michelle Martin, a Civil Rights attorney based in Ohio.

Columbus Civil Rights and Injury Attorney Michelle Martin

Video Transcript:

An Ohio woman died shortly after being found unconscious in the Franklin County Correctional Center, and that has sparked an investigation into the cause of death. 

I'm Rob Rosenthal, and this is Legal Brief. On June 26, after being arrested for a probation violation following a drinking and driving accident, 29-year-old Fredreca Ford was found unconscious in a holding cell. She earlier appeared to be fine aside from a bump on the head, but after being found unconscious in the jail, she was taken to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center. Fentanyl was discovered in her system and she was eventually taken off of life support. 

Attorney Michelle Martin with the Martin Law Firm based in Columbus, Ohio, focuses her practice on personal injury, juvenile law, and civil rights. We asked her about this situation, and she say: 

“The loss of Fredreca Ford is a tragedy that needs to be thoroughly investigated. Inmates had the same right to bodily safety as everyone else, and whenever an inmate’s death might have been influenced due to the negligence on the part of a correctional facility, it's important to continue the fight for justice for the deceased, as well as to demand answers that could protect future inmates in the same situation.”

Ford's mother, Retha Freeman, believes her daughter died of an overdose and points out that overdoses are not wholly uncommon in that facility. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating six suspected overdoses involving inmates, including this one, to determine how these inmates might have obtained their narcotics in the first place. 

This has been an AskTheLawyers Legal Brief.

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