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No criminal charges in death of Kansas teen in police custody, coroner had ruled it a homicide

(The AEGIS Alliance) – An attorney in a Kansas district won’t submit criminal charges concerning the death of Cedric Lofton, a teen Black man that died while in police custody, and also pointed out the state’s stand your ground regulation.

17-year-old Lofton died back in September of 2021, 2 days following him getting apprehended and transported to a juvenile detention center in Wichita, where he purportedly attacked corrections staff members and had been restrained as well as held face down for over a half an hour.

The coroner made a ruling that the death was due to “complications of cardiopulmonary arrest sustained after physical struggle while restrained in the prone position” and also classified it as a homicide back in December.

However, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett revealed on Tuesday that the male officers that restrained and held down Lofton “acted in self-defense” and also “restrained Cedric per policy to protect themselves and to keep Cedric from hurting himself.”

“The (Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center) and (Juvenile Detention Facility) employees acted in self-defense under Kansas law,” Bennett stated in his judgment. “They are immune from prosecution as a result of Kansas’s robust stand your ground law. This conclusion is not a reflection of this office’s approval of what happened to Cedric Lofton on September 24, 2021. This should never have happened.”

Cedric Lofton (AP Photo)

Lofton’s foster dad phoned 911 to state his boy had a psychological breakdown and also required an assessment, yet the teen declined to go willingly, the autopsy showed. Rather, he was apprehended for assaulting a cop and was transported to the Sedgwick County juvenile detention center.

While detained, Lofton purportedly punched a worker and personnel cuffed him by his ankles, rolled him into a vulnerable position, and cuffed him behind his back. Lofton ceased breathing, then passed away 2 days afterward.

“The cause of death was brought about by the position in which Cedric was held as well as the ongoing struggle which lasted for over thirty minutes largely unabated,” the district attorney’s documents stated.

“The long-lasting struggle while in the face-down position impeded his breathing, which caused the supply of oxygen to his heart to be compromised to the point that his heart stopped.”

Andrew M. Stroth, a legal representative for Lofton’s family members, stated both the postmortem examination and also video recording coming from inside the center, which had never been released publicly, confirm that the young adult had actually been “unjustifiably killed.”

“These officials at the juvenile intake center had an unarmed 17-year-old, 135-pound African-American young man in the prone position for several minutes…and they took his breath away and ultimately killed him,” Andrew M. Stroth stated.

“Cedric Lofton should be alive today and he’s not because of the actions of these officers while in the care and custody of authorities who are supposed to be protecting the safety and welfare of citizens,” Stroth added.

Lofton’s family members intend to “pursue all remedies in the civil courts,” Stroth said, which included employing an independent prosecutor.

Jeffrey Childers – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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