SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a 17-year-old who died after being in law enforcement custody.
According to the KBI, by statute, they investigate all in-custody deaths that occur in Kansas jails and prisons unless a physician is regularly attending the inmate who dies, or the death is ruled natural by autopsy.
Preliminary information shared by the KBI indicates that at approximately 1 a.m. on Sept. 24, Wichita police officers responded to a disturbance call in the 1200 block of S. Fox Run in Wichita.
Upon arrival, Wichita police say they discovered 17-year-old Cedric “CJ” Lofton, of Wichita, outside the house. They say he appeared paranoid and was behaving erratically. After officers spent an extended period of time trying to convince him to voluntarily seek mental health treatment, they attempted to take Lofton into custody. They say Lofton resisted by assaulting the officers. After a physical struggle, he was arrested on suspicion of battery to law enforcement officers.
Lofton was transported to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC) in a wrap restraint system, a device used to prevent subjects from hurting themselves or others, according to the KBI. Once at the facility, the wrap device and handcuffs were removed from Lofton, and he was placed in a single holding cell.
The KBI states that Lofton was later allowed out of the holding cell to use the restroom. When a JIAC staff member attempted to escort him back to the holding cell, investigators say Lofton assaulted the staff member. They say other corrections workers engaged in a lengthy physical struggle to get him into the holding cell and place him into handcuffs. Once Lofton was under control, the KBI says corrections staff were monitoring him and noticed he became unresponsive.
The KBI states that workers initiated life-saving measures on Lofton. EMS responded and transported him to Wesley Medical Center, where additional medical interventions were attempted. On Sept. 26, at approximately 1:55 a.m. Lofton was pronounced dead.
An autopsy was conducted on Sept. 27. Lofton’s cause of death is pending further investigation and toxicology results.
The KBI is not releasing any other information at this stage of the investigation.