A black man has died in a detention center in South Carolina. Now his family demands answers
Monday, Lavell Najah Lane, 29 died in Spartanburg County Detention Center (SCDC). Not only are his family demanding answers regarding his death, they are also demanding video footage of Lane in custody.
Lane was pronounced dead at 5:04 a.m. Monday by Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger’s office. The bureau said an investigation is underway with the state Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Clevenger said Monday that an autopsy was performed that day.
However, the results were pending microscopic analysis and toxicological reading. On Thursday, he shared that it would take around 6-8 weeks to complete. On Wednesday afternoon, Lane’s family held a press conference outside the detention center.
Their lawyer Rasheda Robinson of Thomason & Pracht LLP was present. Additionally, members of the National Racial Justice Network (RJN) were also there to lend their support. During the conference, Brother James Johnson, CEO of RJN, explained:
“We want to see the video, and we want to see it right now. We don’t jump to conclusions on anything, but we want transparency, and we want it now. Too many mothers mourn, fathers mourn others their loved ones die in South Carolina.
RJN National President Dr. Candace Brewer said, “Death requires responsibility. Lane’s family said he only stayed in South Carolina for two weeks after leaving Brooklyn, New York. He resided at the Midway Residential Care Facility in Moore.
Lane was arrested Sunday for walking in the middle of Chesnee Highway and booked at 11 p.m., records show. The sheriff’s office incident report for Lane’s arrest indicates that he attempted to flee before turning his hands up.
He also indicates that he became “intractable and combative” with the agents of the detention center. Andy Reese, the victim’s father, claimed the coroner’s representative saw footage of Lane in police custody and told him his son had been tasered while he was naked “front and back”.
“People are being treated unfairly because of mental illness. For a traffic violation, my son died,” Reese said.