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El Paso Findings on the Death of Sgt. Brown

Jul 27th, 2012 | Category: El Paso County

By CELESTE ALVAREZ, Imperial Valley Press OnlineSeptember 9, 2012 

EL PASO, TEXAS — The sudden death of Imperial native and Fort Bliss, Texas, Army Sgt. James Brown, who died while serving a weekend sentence at the El Paso County Jail, was determined to have been caused by sickle cell crisis, a finding with which his loved ones disagree.

“My son didn’t have sickle cell; he didn’t,” Brown’s mother, Dinetta Scott, said. “It doesn’t add up.”

Brown, 26, checked into the county jail July 13 voluntarily to serve a two-day sentence for driving while intoxicated. Brown was supposed to be released by July 15. He died July 14 while in jail custody after being injected with a sedative meant to calm him after he experienced what El Paso County sheriff’s authorities told Scott was “combative” behavior, by hitting the walls.

The manner of Brown’s death was considered of natural cause brought about by “the strenuous physical activity while being subdued after he became extremely agitated in jail,” reported Juan U. Contin chief medical examiner for El Paso County, in his post-mortem report.

Much of the family’s disagreement with the findings comes because family members feel the examiner failed to fully examine all possible options for Brown’s death, Scott explained.

“He only checked for one drug, but the hospital tested for two,” Scott said. “If you’re a doctor you do everything.”

The report found 14 nanograms per milliliter of Lorazepam, a medication used to relieve anxiety by slowing activity in the brain to allow relaxation, within Brown’s system. However the findings also stated that due to insufficient quantity, a test to examine Haloperidol, a medication used to treat psychotic disorders and treat severe behavioral problems such as explosive, aggressive behavior or hyperactivity was not conducted, according to mortem report.

“I think they just said sickle cell because it is more prominent in African Americans, but I know my son and he didn’t have the disease,” Scott maintained.

Scott’s attorney will be sending the El Paso County medical examiner’s report to a forensic pathologist to further analyze the findings.

“I want to know what really happen to my son, because if you know my son you know it doesn’t make sense,” Scott said.

Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at calvarez@ivpressonline.com

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9 years ago

I have been informing people about the El Paso, Tx Jail and annex for over 6 years. I was openly attacked by a sheriffs guard, while waiting for my then so called attorney John Travis Ketner. The jail is a place where black inmates are given the treatment. That is jail rules, by mainly Hispanic guards who has taken over the system in my opinion. The guards usually set up people to fight, or be killed. No one dare investigate the 6th term DA Jaime Esparza and the way justice is issued out in El Paso. I am sorry for this sergeant and his family whom found out how it really is in the criminal justice system in Texas period.

7 years ago

Whatever he had or didn’t have, he was secured and couldn’t harm anyone. He said he couldn’t breath, begged for help & recieved none. Looked like he was already brain dead from lack of air when they finally decided to react. I believe those officers should face serious charges; with that many involved that jail should be shut down for a full investigation. The video I watched was on my local news channel In Kansas City Mo. my 7 year old daughter got mad at the officers & cryed. I normally mind my own business but this was wrong. I had to comment somewhere! PLEASE HELP HIS FAMILY IF YOU ARE ABLE & DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS. (It shouldn’t make any difference but I’m white)