Sheriff’s office: No protesters dead at Hamilton County Justice Center

Sheriff’s office: No protesters dead at Hamilton County Justice Center
Protesters gather at the Hamilton County Justice Center then march through downtown Cincinnati (Source: WXIX)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office refuted social media rumors Monday that an arrested protester died in custody at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

The sheriff’s office tweeted at 3 p.m.:

“Multiple social media posts have been circulating claiming that a person has died while in custody at the HCJC. This is completely false! Please Share!”

The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office confirmed to FOX19 that they had not responded to the jail.

Twitter video from one of the incarcerated protesters shows them reacting to news that someone possibly died in custody.

“Someone’s dead. People have been throwing up, peeing their pants, needing medical help, and now someone’s dead,” the woman said. “This is scary.”

FOX19 NOW cannot independently verify whether the video was actually taken inside the justice center, nor can we verify any of the claims made within it.

The protesters issued a list of desired policy changes and actions Monday, including “the immediate release of anyone arrested during the protests regarding the death of George Floyd and police brutality in Cincinnati. We demand that any charges brought against protesters be dropped.”

CPD Chief Eliot Isaac said in a press conference Monday afternoon some 307 people were arrested over the weekend, causing a processing backlog at the justice center.

Charges listed include misconduct at emergency (curfew violation); failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstruction of official business, court records show.

Most of those were arrested for curfew violations.

“This is a dangerous situation. You have a responsibility to take care of yourself and this is not a voluntary curfew. It is the law,” Mayor John Cranley said Monday. "Please obey the curfew. I understand that people want to protest. I understand that they want deeply to express their anger... and that is your right. But there’s a time, place and manner for everything.”

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