The family of a man who took his own life in the Howard County Jail in Kokomo is suing local police, alleging his death was avoidable.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of James Brandon Patterson’s estate contends the Howard County Sheriff’s Department has a culture of indifference to inmates’ suicidal risks.
The 38-year-old Patterson died in August 2017 after he was placed in a holding cell at the county jail following his arrest on domestic battery and strangulation charges. An autopsy found he died by hanging.
The suit alleges Patterson wasn’t evaluated by jail staff, referred to a mental health specialist or placed on watch despite exhibiting signs of mental instability and being suicidal.
County Sheriff Jerry Asher tells the Kokomo Tribune he cannot discuss Patterson’s death because of the pending lawsuit.