An investigation into a death in custody will be conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Beverly Pool was arrested on a warrant from Parker Magistrate Court at around 3:20pm on Friday, July 24th, 2015 by Parker Police Department. She was brought in to the La Paz County Detention Facility for booking, and accepted by the jail. She ate, showered and was placed into a holding cell for the night where she went to sleep, and at some point during the night, she died.
Parker Live spoke at length with Lieutenant Richard Epps, Assistant Commander of the La Paz County jail. Epps said the jail is taking this matter seriously and had conducted a preliminary review of the facts of Pool’s booking and her death. The Sheriff’s Office has asked that the Arizona Department of Public Safety conduct an independent investigation.
Epps said, “It’s important that the public know the investigation will be completely objective, one way or the other, so we’re asking DPS to look at it. That is something that we also do for other agencies.”
Some of Pool’s family members believe she died because the jail staff acted negligently, an allegation that originates with an apparent witness – an unnamed 18-year old woman who was in the cell with Pool. This account of events appeared online a few days after Pool’s death in a post by Gia Heller Howard, an Arizona woman describing herself as a ‘human advocate’.
According to Howard, the witness was being held at the same time on a drug charge in the same holding cell as Pool. Howard’s online petition claims that the unnamed woman saw Pool “falling out of her chair” without anyone helping her, and that she was left for hours without help until morning, when a Corporal Williams found her unresponsive.
In her petition, Howard claims that the 18-year old witness “requested immediate medical assistance for Beverly Pool during her jail time” at the facility. But nowhere in the statement she supplies – which is allegedly from the witness herself – does the witness describe attempting to get attention on behalf of Pool.
One of Pool’s children reached out to Parker Live to say that the family has been in contact with the witness, and that she was told Beverly “begged for help because she was having trouble breathing and she was ignored.”
Other details mentioned in Howard’s petition, ostensibly by the witness, are that the intake room is cold – “at least 65 degrees” – and that Pool had no blanket for a few hours.
Pool is survived by 8 children and her grandchildren, who have been raising money for a memorial. She was 54 years old. “We’re trying our best to raise money to give my mom the best funeral,” one of her daughters told Parker Live.
Lieutenant Epps said the Sheriff’s Office has a responsibility to protect the privacy of the parties involved, and is not free to release any specifics until the investigation is concluded.
Earlier article HERE.