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LA City Council To Pay Almost $300,000 To Settle Case Of Wakiesha Wilson, Who Died In LAPD Cell

Wilson's body was found on Easter Sunday in 2016.

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Like Sandra Bland, Wakiesha Wilson was found dead in police custody. And like Bland, Wilson's death was ruled a suicide.

On Easter Sunday of 2016, Wilson's body was found in an LAPD jail cell. 

The day before, Wilson had been arrested at a hospital in L.A., accused of punching someone. Wilson was at the hospital to see about back and chest pain she was suffering from.

As she was being booked, Wilson told officers and medical examiners that she suffered from mental health problem, and that she was on antipsychotic and antidepressant pills.

Jail officials say that Wilson denied having suicidal thoughts, but the the woman she shared a room with for a few hours before her death told a different story. That woman, who was moved to a different room shortly before Wilson's death said Wilson was "behaving erratically and aggressively," and that Wilson wrapped a shirt around her neck, saying, "I’m about to take my life.”

Hours after the woman was moved, Wilson was found with her shirt around her neck, having hanged herself from a wall-mounted telephone.

A police investigation found that LAPD officers weren't "substantially involved" in Wilson's death, and prosecutors refused to file criminal charges against the department, on the grounds that there wasn't enough evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

However, Wilson's family was not convinced that she'd died of suicide, and nor were activists in the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, who would chant her name at police commission meetings.

With the support of these activists, Wilson's son and mother filed lawsuits against the city. 

More than a year after Wilson's death, the LA Times reports that a settlement has been reached.

The L.A. City Council agreed this week to pay $298,000 to settle the legal dispute related to Wilson's death. The decision came after a 13-0 council vote. 

“At the end of the day, somebody died on their watch,” said Jaaye Person-Lynn, an attorney representing Wilson's son. “I’m still not 100% sure of exactly what happened, but I am content with this resolution and I am happy that the city was willing to work with us.”

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