Family Sues After Teen Girl Dies in Juvenile Detention

They say Gynnya McMillen, 16, was put in a martial-arts hold
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2016 5:55 PM CDT
Family of Teen Girl Who Died in Custody Files Lawsuit
The family of Gynna McMillen is suing a Kentucky juvenile detention center after the teen died in custody there.   (Facebook)

The family of a teenager who died in a Kentucky detention center is suing jail and state officials, saying the girl was restrained with a martial arts technique for refusing to remove her hoodie and then left to die in her cell, the AP reports. Kentucky's Department of Juvenile Justice said in a statement Wednesday that medical examiners determined Gynnya McMillen died in her sleep of natural causes, without showing any signs of distress that would have prompted medical attention.

According to WAVE-TV, the family's lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses the Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center staff of falsifying records to cover up their failure to monitor the 16-year-old. Some of those records claim McMillen declined breakfast and a snack, and was non-compliant, when in fact she had already been dead for hours. The lawsuit also claims that Reginald Windham, a former supervisor at Lincoln Village, heard McMillen coughing in the hours after she arrived at the center, and alleges that Windham watched the girl's "last gasps and dying breaths" from outside her cell. The family alleges that no one tried to resuscitate her. Windham was later fired during an investigation into McMillen's death. (More Kentucky stories.)

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