A Baltimore family is grieving after their loved one never made it home after being jailed over a traffic ticket. Now they’re working to get to the bottom of what went wrong.
Kenesha Gilmore said she was awaiting a call from her brother Deniro Bellamy to post bail after he turned himself into Central Booking and Intake on a traffic violation. Instead, she received a call from the jail that morning telling her her brother had died.
” … They called me at 10:30 and told me that they found him unresponsive at 9:09 on the booking floor inside the cell and he passed away,” Gilmore told local station WMAR 2 News. “I’m sorry to inform you that your brother passed away.”
According to Gilmore, her brother was sharing a cell with other detainees in the bullpen and suffered some sort of medical emergency. She said the other inmates had trouble getting a hold of corrections officers when they noticed Bellamy, 31, was in distress.
He had “no health issues. No heart problems. No anything,” Gilmore said. “He was fine. I saw him that morning.”
A corrections official said Bellamy was in a holding cell with other inmates when they found him collapsed shortly after 9 p.m., according to The Baltimore Sun. Jail spokesman Gerard Shields said corrections officers attempted CPR before Bellamy was rushed to nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The is the jail’s second death in two years, according to the newspaper.
An internal investigations unit is looking into the incident, but early indications show “that there was no foul play,” Shields said. Bellamy’s family believes otherwise.
Zeke Bellamy, the late man’s brother, said officials have kept he and his family in the dark about his brother’s demise and gave conflicting accounts of what happened to him. He said he rushed to Johns Hopkins after learning of his brother’s death last Wednesday, and found the staff “very secretive” about what went wrong, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Zeke, who described his brother as mentally disabled, said he wasn’t even allowed to see the body before it was taken to the medical examiner.
“I pretty much begged them to let me see my brother,” he told the paper.
Zeke said his brother was living in a group home at the time and was driving without a license when he was cited for a traffic violation. Now, he and Gilmore are pressing jail officials for answers into their brother’s mysterious death.
“I talked to the detective again today and all I get is, ‘I’ve been doing this for 32 years. It’s no trauma outside his body. It’s got to be internal. Maybe he took something,’” Gilmore said. ” … My brother isn’t going to take nothing. He doesn’t just do drugs. It was a traffic ticket. That’s it, and now my brother’s dead.”