Woman dies after becoming unresponsive in Knoxville police custody, 4 KPD personnel on administrative leave

The woman was arrested for trespassing charges, according to Knoxville Police Department officials.
The woman was arrested for trespassing charges, according to Knoxville Police Department officials.
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 5:10 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 9:16 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Three Knoxville Police Department officers and a wagon driver were put on administrative leave after a woman became unresponsive and later died in police custody, KPD Public Information Officer Scott Erland told WVLT News.

The officers took Lisa Edwards, 60, into custody at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Sunday, placing her inside a cruiser, Erland said. While in the car, Edwards reportedly became unresponsive. Edwards was then taken back to the hospital by AMR in critical condition, where she died Monday evening.

According to Erland, officers were dispatched to the hospital Sunday because Edwards, who had recently been discharged, was refusing to leave. She had been taken into custody on trespassing charges, Erland said, adding that no use of force or handcuffs were involved in the incident.

Now, the department is facing an investigation from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Additionally, an internal review is underway “to determine if any departmental policies or procedures were violated,” Erland said.

As the investigation is ongoing, information from the TBI or KPD is limited. WVLT News did reach out to Fort Sanders representatives for comment, however, and they provided the following statement:

Patient care and privacy are of the highest importance at Fort Sanders Regional. We cannot share specific details of the patient’s care, but we want to extend our deepest sympathy to the family in their loss. We are continuing to gather information and are cooperating with local law enforcement in their investigation.

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

Fort Sanders also said they are cooperating with the investigation, but have limited information to share.

WVLT News spoke with one of Edwards’ family members as well, who said that they didn’t even know the woman was in Knoxville.