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5 dead at City Justice Center in St. Louis this year: 'We are going to get the answers that the public deserves' says local leader

The fifth detainee at the City Justice Center dies this week. The Detention Oversight Board wants answers as to why.

ST. LOUIS — An investigation is underway following the fifth death of a detainee at the City Justice Center this year.

On Sept. 6, a man was found by other detainees unresponsive in his cell around 10:30 a.m. 

Correctional officers made an emergency call for medical assistance. 

Medical staff performed life-saving measures and the detainee was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly before noon.

Reverend Darryl Gray, Vice Chairman of Detention Facilities Oversight Board and Director of Missouri Faith Voices, said he wants answers and transparency.

“We are going to get the answers that the public deserves,” Gray said. “Five people dying... since the beginning of the year...while in custody...while being supervised."

"While under surveillance," Gray said. "We need answers to these questions, and we need them immediately."

Following two riots, a task force issued more than 60 recommendations to improve the facility. Gray said besides the locks being changed, he doesn’t know what else has been done.

Gray asked do we have enough medical staff or enough mental health capabilities? 

"We've got to do more to protect the people that we've been charged with detaining," Gray said. "Many of these people in there, there's hundreds of them, are detainees that haven’t been to court."

"They are innocent until proven guilty," Gray said. "They are citizens of our city.”

The Detention Facilities Oversight Board is expected to meet with the Corrections Commissioner on Sept. 19. 

Gray said if his questions aren’t answered, his board has subpoena power and other methods to try and get answers.

The health and safety of detainees remain the Division of Corrections’ top priority.

The incident is under investigation, and the Medical Examiner’s office has been contacted. 

Further information will be provided when available.

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