KBI Investigating In Custody Teen Death

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation  is investigating the death of a 17-year-old who died after being in law enforcement custody.

According to the agency, preliminary information indicates that at approximately 1 a.m. on Sept. 24th, officers from the Wichita Police Department responded to a disturbance call from a resident at 1221 S. Fox Run in Wichita. Upon arrival they discovered 17-year-old Cedric “CJ” Lofton, of Wichita, outside the house. Lofton appeared paranoid and was behaving erratically. After officers spent an extended period of time trying to convince him to voluntarily seek mental health treatment, they attempted to take Lofton into custody. Lofton resisted by assaulting the officers. After a physical struggle, he was arrested for four counts of battery of a law enforcement officer.

Lofton was transported to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC) in a Wrap restraint system, a device used to prevent subjects from hurting themselves or others. Once at the facility the Wrap device and handcuffs were removed from Lofton, and he was placed in a single holding cell.

Lofton was later allowed out of the holding cell to use the restroom. When a JIAC staff member attempted to escort him back to the holding cell, Lofton assaulted the staff member. Multiple corrections staff engaged in a lengthy physical struggle to get him into the holding cell and place him into handcuffs. Once Lofton was under control, corrections staff were monitoring him and noticed he became unresponsive.

Life-saving measures were initiated. EMS responded and transported him to Wesley Medical Center where additional medical interventions were attempted. On Sept. 26, at approximately 1:55 a.m. Lofton was pronounced dead.

By statute, the KBI investigates all in-custody deaths which occur in Kansas jails and prisons, unless the inmate who dies is being regularly attended by a physician, or the death is ruled natural by autopsy.

An autopsy was conducted on Sept. 27. Lofton’s cause of death is pending further investigation and toxicology results.