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Relatives of Black man who died by suicide at Clackamas County Jail plan to appeal

COURTESY PHOTO: LATRINA MADISON - Jermelle Madison, Jr.Lynette Madison, grandmother of Jermelle Madison Jr., the Black man who died by suicide while in Clackamas County Jail's custody in July, claims police "refused to share records of Jermelle's death with family attorneys upon request."

"Clackamas County Jail refused to send the records to the attorney," Lynette said.

She said her granddaughter, Jermelle's sister, received an email from the family's attorneys saying the jail would not share the records with them. Pamplin Media Group was unable to receive a copy of the emails from attorneys, but Lynette said they are preparing to appeal the denial.

Lynette said the jail's refusal makes her suspicious that they have something to hide.

"What are they hiding? That makes me think they did something to him. I swear, I think they did something to him," Lynette said.

Jail information officers declined to comment on Jermelle's case while their investigation remains underway.

Clackamas County Jail has a full page of its website dedicated to outlining its suicide prevention resources and protocols, including sending trained mental health professionals along with officers who are arresting someone with known mental disorders.

Clackamas County Jail Captain Lee Eby confirmed this is a practice of the jail.

"In Clackamas County, we have a behavioral health unit, and they're staffed and they actually do go along on some calls," Eby said, adding that they identify who may need mental health assistance based on records in their system.COURTESY PHOTO: LATRINA MADISON - Jermelle and his father, Jermelle Madison, Sr.

Jermelle's suicide occurred during his second stint at Clackamas County Jail, after the jail had diagnosed him with schizophrenia. Lynette claims that no mental health professional accompanied officers during Jermelle's most recent arrest.

"They did not know how to deal with him, it made him worse and worse, and worse," Lynette said. "He was panicking, he was flipping out. And, you know, he was scared, he was angry. I mean, I'm just looking at him crying, man, you know, it was bad. I know, they should have had somebody that should have been trained.

"They're getting money, and they have some people who are supposed to come out and help people with mental health issues like my grandson," she added. "They're supposed to have special people who are trained. That was my understanding, but they never — it was just the regular Milwaukie Police."


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