Raynette Turner, 43, mother of 8 and Mount Vernon resident, was found dead in a Mount Vernon Police Department holding cell on Monday afternoon around 2pm.
She had been arrested on Saturday after 3:00 pm at Restaurant Depot on a petty larceny charge.
She was taken to the local hospital to receive medical attention on Sunday evening around 7:00 pm and then returned back to police department after the hospital reported that she was medically fit.
From there the Police Department said that they maintained a check up on Raynette Turner over the next 24 hours and reported on her condition.
The last check that they made was around noon on Monday and she was conscious and upright in her cell, it wasn’t until they came to bring her to court that they found her unresponsive and the Medical Examiner ruled her dead at the scene between 2-3 pm in the afternoon.
Information from the Mount Vernon Police Department was not clear as they did not have the reports from the incident in front of them during the time of the press conference.
Turner’s husband, Herman, who was in court awaiting his wife’s appearance, had been told Monday that she would likely be released without bail. He was also told she had been complaining that she was not feeling well, said Osvaldo Gonzalez, a lawyer for the family.
Raynette’s husband Herman said: “We know she was requesting medical treatment and it seems that at some level the system and the protocols that the city was following failed,” (Lohud)
Mount Vernon Police Department, the Westchester County Medical Examiner, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Attorney General’s Office are all investigating the death of Mrs. Turner.
AG Eric Schneiderman has sent investigators from his new team tasked with probing police-involved deaths to Westchester County, spokesman Eric Soufer said. The case is one of the first Schneiderman’s office has examined since Gov. Andrew Cuomo named him special prosecutor earlier this month, granting him the power to investigate and if necessary prosecute police officers involved in the death of an unarmed civilian.
In a statement on behalf of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, former Mount Vernon City Council candidate Damon Jones called the police department “draconian.”
“The recent death of a woman in custody reminds us of Sandra Bland. Mount Vernon is like many police departments in Westchester; policies and procedures are draconian in nature. We must question the time frame of security checks,” he said. “Unfortunately, for the taxpayers of Mount Vernon, this will result in another lawsuit at the cost of the Mount Vernon taxpayer.”
With recent cases of black women dying in police custody it is paramount that the investigation into the death of Raynette Turner is transparent and officials are on top of the facts.
This story will be updated throughout the day as more information comes in: