In-Custody Death Raises Concerns Over Notification Procedures

In-Custody Death Raises Concerns Over Notification Procedures

Danny James’ family is seeking answers following his death while in custody at Duval County jail.

“We weren’t informed by anyone. No police officers, no court officials, no detectives,” stated Andre Nero, who is James’ cousin.

Nero revealed that their family only found out about the 40-year-old’s passing through another inmate. Meghan Moriarty of Action News Jax also spoke with James’ mother, who reiterated that they had not been informed of his death.

Nero expressed his frustration, saying, “It’s difficult to put into words. We simply want to know why we weren’t treated with the respect of being properly notified.”

According to an arrest report from May 16, James was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. He was subsequently arrested on charges of seatbelt violation, driving with a suspended license, and evading the police’s attempt to stop him.

The report also mentioned the presence of a marijuana odor in his vehicle. The Duval County Clerk of Circuit Court’s website indicated an additional charge of ‘possession of a firearm as a convicted felon’ was later added.

A press release was sent to news outlets on Thursday, notifying them of James’ death. The release stated that he had been found in medical distress, possibly due to an unspecified medical episode.

Data from the Sheriff’s Office indicated that there had been 11 in-custody deaths in 2023 so far, compared to 19 in 2022.

In a previous report, Action News Jax had revealed that the Sheriff’s Office had severed ties with its former healthcare provider for the jail. Last week, a comparison was made between the contracts of the old and new healthcare providers.

Sheriff T.K. Waters had acknowledged the need for change, stating, “I take responsibility within the agency. We implement these changes because I believed a new direction was necessary.”

Nero is now calling for that change to happen and is seeking an explanation for why his family was not informed.

“It doesn’t matter what someone did in their past, or how they lived their life,” Nero emphasized. “Every individual is human and deserves to be treated with dignity.”

Attempts were made to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to inquire whether James’ family had been notified and, if not, the reasons behind it. However, no response was received by the 5 P.M. deadline. This story will be updated if a response is received.

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Happy Purwal is a news writer with one year of experience. He is skilled in researching and writing engaging news articles. His expertise includes covering current events, politics, and human interest stories. He is passionate about delivering accurate and unbiased news to his readers.