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‘They Tased Him Butt Naked’: Family of South Carolina Black Man Seeks Answers About How He Mysteriously Died Six Hours After Being Taken to Jail

“This thing is hurting me bad, I can hardly sleep at night,” said Andy Reese after his son mysteriously died just hours after being taken to jail by South Carolina sheriff’s deputies.

The family of Lavell Lane, 29, is heartbroken and frustrated after Lane’s suspicious death.

“Now my son is dead, he walked in, but he didn’t walk out, he came out in a body bag, it is a very tragic thing for the family,” said Reese.

Reese says on the night of October 2, his son was arrested by Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Deputies for walking on the highway, a violation of state law, 56-05-3160, which prohibits or limits walking on the highway pavement.

GoUpstate reports, the incident report indicated, Lane yelled profanity toward deputies before running away into the nearby woods where he surrendered to deputies, at this time, it is unclear who notified authorities about Lane walking on the highway.

After his arrest, Lane was taken to the Spartanburg County Detention Center, he was reportedly combative and non-compliant, according to the incident report obtained by GoUpstate.

Reese says his son suffered from mental illness, specifically, schizophrenia. Lane was taken to jail at 10:20 Sunday night, but by 5:04 the following morning on Oct. 3, he was dead.

“He died and at 5 o’clock in the morning, and they [jail officers] made rounds around 3:45 and they give food out in trays, and the officer noticed that he [Lane] was on his knees, they say they called his name, and they rushed the door open and they called the nurse but they got no response, and the nurse called EMS and EMS came and then he was dead,” Reese said.

Reese and the family’s attorney, Rasheda Robinson, says the family wants to know how the healthy 29-year-old died roughly six hours after he was placed in deputies’ custody.

“If there’s video footage available, let’s get it to this family, let’s get it to their lawyers,” said Robinson.

Reese says a representative from the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office told the family, Lane had died and that he was tased by deputies. “They tased him and he was butt naked,” Reese said of what happened to his son while in deputies’ custody.

While bodycam video and security footage exist, so far, the sheriff’s office has not released any to the public.

Atlanta Black Star requested more information regarding Lane’s sudden death, and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office denied our request claiming, “since our office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and the Coroner’s Office still have active investigations.”

The lack of transparency in the matter weeks after Lane’s death makes the situation harder on the family. “It’s a hard feeling thing, to see your child go through such punishment like that, it reminds me of slavery,” Reese said.

“Right now, our only goal and our only hope, is to get this family some answers,” Robinson said.

The family held a protest outside the Spartanburg County Jail a week after Lane’s mysterious death. GoUpstate also reported, the toxicology report should be complete within six to eight weeks.

Robinson says it is too soon to know if a lawsuit will be filed until more information is obtained.

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