CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Crawford County Sheriff Jim Damante has released footage from inside a police cruiser that shows the instances after the arrest of Jacob Jones, 26, who later died in the county jail after suffering a medical emergency on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The release comes in what the Sheriff calls “the interest of transparency” regarding the circumstances surrounding Jones’ death.
Sheriff Damante begins his statement by saying any loss of life is tragic, but whenever someone dies “in my jail, the public deserves answers.”
He explains that Jones was arrested by Van Buren Police on an outstanding warrant and in the footage shown below, after the suspect was placed in the back of the cruiser, he removed a bag of drugs and swallowed them in an effort to conceal the drugs.
Warning: Some viewers may find this video disturbing.
Jones was booked into jail and died hours later. According to Sheriff Damante, deputies attempted to perform CPR on Jones and transported him to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
KNWA/FOX24 reporter Macy Davis spoke with Jones’ family attorney, David Powell, who said the multiple reports received from inmates surrounding the hours before Jones’ death conflicted with what he was hearing from the sheriff’s department.
“We’re getting stories that he was taken back to a pod, and he was there for several hours with several calls for help from other inmates that were long ignored for as long as five to six hours,” said Powell.
However, Damante continued his statement saying he has spoken to the medical examiner and while it is unknown what type of drugs Jones took, the examiner confirmed that the bag he swallowed broke open in the man’s stomach and the cause of death was ruled as an overdose.
“I’ve launched a full investigation into what happened, and I’ll continue to provide the public with more information when I’m able to,” said Damante. “As always, if an investigation shows that any of my employees violated our administrative policies, I won’t hesitate to hold them accountable.”
You can read more about our story with the family of Jones and attorney David Powell by clicking here.