DA: Woman in KPD custody died of stroke, no charges to be filed
There will be no criminal charges filed against Knoxville Police Department officers involved in the arrest of Lisa Edwards, officials with the DA’s office announced.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - There will be no criminal charges filed against Knoxville Police Department officers involved in the arrest of Lisa Edwards, officials with the District Attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
An autopsy concluded that Edwards, who was taken into custody by KPD officers at Fort Sanders Medical Center, died of a stroke, DA officials announced.
Previous Coverage: Woman dies after becoming unresponsive in Knoxville police custody, 4 KPD personnel on administrative leave
After an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, officials concluded that Edwards had previously suffered a stroke that left her wheelchair-bound. She took a flight from a nursing home in Rhode Island on Feb. 4, during which she began complaining of abdominal pain, officials said. Upon landing in Knoxville, Edwards was reportedly taken to Blount Memorial Hospital, where she was diagnosed with constipation.
Edwards then sought additional treatment at Fort Sanders, officials said, and was discharged around 7 a.m. Feb. 5. After being discharged, Edwards reportedly refused to leave the premises, so the KPD was called. Those officers decided to arrest Edwards, officials said, and called a wagon to transport her in. When the officers were unable to load her into the wagon, they called a patrol car, according to the DA’s office.
Officers reportedly placed Edwards into the patrol car and the driver was on the way to a detention facility when the officer noticed Edward had become unresponsive. Edwards was taken by ambulance back to Fort Sanders where she was placed on life support and died, officials said.
“Multiple law enforcement videos were reviewed to gather additional context surrounding Ms. Edwards’ death. From a review of these videos, it is evident that at no time did law enforcement interaction cause or contribute to Ms. Edwards’ death,” Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Lochmuller said. “Specifically, Ms. Edwards was not beaten by the police, she was never subdued, there was no physical struggle between law enforcement and Ms. Edwards, and there was no restraint asphyxia. Rather, Ms. Edwards went into cardiac arrest in the back of a police cruiser due to a combination of her natural diseases.”
None of the officers involved will see criminal charges, DA officials said.
KPD Communications Manager Scott Erland told WVLT News that the officers involved are still on leave, pending the completion of KPD’s own internal investigation.
WVLT News has also received the body camera footage of the incident. You can view that here.
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