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Black Kansas Teen’s Death Ruled A Homicide While In Police Custody

A newly released autopsy revealed a Kansas teen died as a result of homicide after a struggle with law enforcement, the Daily News reports.

On Sept. 24, 17-year-old Cedric Lofton was held in police custody at the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center in Wichita when an altercation occurred.

Police documents stated that Lofton allegedly punched an employee. He was then subdued and handcuffed while on his stomach for allegedly not cooperating. Minutes after he was restrained, Lofton’s heart and breathing ceased. The teen was later transported to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead two days later.

Early findings indicated that Lofton didn’t die from life-threatening injuries. But Timothy Gorrill, the chief medical examiner over the case, said the theen died “as a result of complications from cardiopulmonary arrest sustained after physical struggle while restrained in the prone position.”

“The manner of death is homicide,” he added.

Gorrill also determined that Lofton tested positive for COVID-19 and sustained brain injuries from a lack of oxygen, kidney injuries and respiratory failure.

After Lofton’s adopted father placed a call to 911 citing his son was experiencing a mental breakdown that required further attention, the teenager was arrested for battery against law enforcement. He was then taken into custody at the juvenile detention facility.

The employees involved in the incident have yet to be identified, National Public Radio reports. However, they have been placed on administrative leave.

“The family lost their son and their brother, so it’s just a tragic and unjustified death,” Andrew Stroth, the attorney for Lofton’s family said. “The family is going to continue to seek answers and pursue all legal remedies available.”

“Between the video evidence that we reviewed and the autopsy, it’s clear that this young man was unjustifiably killed,” Stroth detailed in a statement.

Stroth’s firm caters to families who have lost family members or incurred injuries as a result of police brutality.

Marc Bennett, the district attorney for Sedgwick County, has yet to apply charges, but he’s been challenged by another Chicago-based attorney representing Lofton’s family, Steven Hart.

“This was excessive and outrageous and heinous uses of force that ultimately and clearly directly led to [Lofton’s] death,” Hart said during an interview with KSN News. 

A GoFundMe page was set up on Sept. 28 in Lofton’s honor. Thus far, 80 donations were made accumulating a little over $2,000 for his memorial. 

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