District attorney determines ‘no basis’ for criminal liability in Brieon Green jail death

Monique Brewer, left, aunt of Brieon Green, and Laquita Dunlap, his mother, hold signs at a rally to find the truth about his death at the Milwaukee County Jail.

Monique Brewer, left, aunt of Brieon Green, and Laquita Dunlap, his mother, hold signs at a rally to find the truth about his death at the Milwaukee County Jail.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it found no basis for criminal liability, including Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office employees, related to the suicide of 21-year-old Brieon Green at the County Jail in June 2022.

“Any loss of life by one’s own hand or by accident is tragic,” the Sheriff’s Department wrote in a statement, adding that the department was opening an internal investigation “to determine whether any MCSO policies or procedures were violated and to see if any additional steps can be taken in the future.”

Green family attorney B’Ivory LaMarr respondent, “We have long maintained that the tragic death of Brieon Green was completely preventable and is the direct result of negligence and a failure to maintain the constitutional protections of Brieon should have been apprised of. We look forward to conducting a thorough review of the investigative materials and will comment further after this process has been completed.”

In December, Green’s family and LaMarr reviewed surveillance footage documenting the final minutes of Green’s life as well as officer witness statements during a meeting with the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office.

Twenty-eight minutes after Green was booked into the jail on June 26 he committed suicide by strangling himself with a phone cord despite a jail officer walking past the cell as Green was taking his life, LaMarr said following the meeting in December.

“I cannot believe there was gross negligence with the complete indifference to a human life that took place at the facility on June 26,” LaMarr said.

“One of the most disturbing aspects we witnessed today is that this incident was completely preventable,” he said. “We saw an officer go by Brieon Green’s cell during the course of him taking his life.”

Green’s family and LaMarr are still waiting for the remainder of the investigative file to be released by the district attorney.

In 2016, Terrill Thomas, who was being held at the jail after having had a psychotic episode, according to his family, was placed in a segregation unit where guards shut off his water. Six days later, he died of dehydration. Several guards were criminally charged in the case.

Between January 2020 and April 2021, the jail reported four in-custody deaths. Three of those cases were suspected of being suicides and the cause of death for the fourth individual was determined as acute heart failure, according to reports from the medical examiner’s office.

Three guards were involved in two of those incidents were ultimately fired or resigned.

This comes shortly after the Journal Sentinel reported that County Board supervisors called for an audit of the county’s correctional sites — with a particular focus on policies regarding suicide prevention or monitoring at the jail —following a second apparent suicide was reported at the jail on Dec. 16.

Contact Vanessa Swales at 414-308-5881 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Vanessa_Swales.

This article originally appeared on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee District Attorney: No charges in Brieon Green jail suicide

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