Mother of woman who died in LAPD jail files wrongful death lawsuit

The mother of a 36-year-old black woman who died while in Los Angeles police custody on Easter Sunday will announce Tuesday the filing of a $35 million claim against the city.

Lisa Hines, the mother of Wakiesha Wilson, and her attorneys have questioned police accounts that say Wilson committed suicide by hanging herself in a jail cell on March 27. She will be joined by Wilson's aunt and attorney
Carl Douglas at the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center to discuss the lawsuit.

Hines said her daughter sounded well when she called her on March 26, the day before she died, to tell her she had been arrested and needed to be picked up after her court arraignment later that week.

During a second phone call at about 7:30 a.m. the next day, Wilson once again reminded her mother about the court appointment and said she would call back later in the day to talk to her aunt, Sheila Hines Brim, who was
celebrating her birthday, according to the family's account. Wilson was found unresponsive in her cell a couple hours later.

Hines drove to the criminal courts building on Tuesday to meet her daughter as requested, but Wilson was nowhere to be found. She only learned of her daughter's death the next day, after she was given a number to the
coroner's office.

Black Lives Matter activists have rallied around Wilson's family and pressed for more information about the circumstances surrounding her death during Police Commission meetings. They point to the department's response to her death as one of the reasons police Chief Charlie Beck should be fired.

Hines said during a Black Lives Matter event last month that the police department unnecessarily delayed telling her of her daughter's death, and that she had to make several phone calls to the LAPD before she was unceremoniously informed that her daughter had died days before.

"If this was your child and you were looking for her, and somebody gave you a number to call ... and when you do call the number, the coroner's office answers, what would be going on in your body mind and soul?'' she said.

Wilson, who was the mother of a 13-year-old boy and who had been diagnosed as bipolar, was arrested on suspicion of battery.

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