'I Don't Want To Die In Your Cell'; Hours Later, Woman Found Dead in Jail

Ralkina Jones was recorded telling police officers “I don’t want to die in your cell” mere hours before her greatest fear became a reality.


Jones, 37, was found dead at 7:30 on the morning of July 26 in Cleveland, Oh.

On July 24 Jones was arrested on charges of felonious assault, criminal mischief, creating a disturbance, domestic violence and endangering a child after attacking her ex-husband — who did not press charges — at his place of work.

Upon her arrest, Jones disclosed multiple medical conditions she was being treated for, including ADHD, depression, seizures and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). She also revealed she suffered from a brain injury following a head injury she sustained from her ex-husband. A member of Jones’s family also reported she had a heart murmur.

Officers in the video appeared compliant with Jones’s medical requests and assured her she would be given the attention she needed. Jones expressed concern about an officer who allegedly yelled at her earlier in the evening, but the video shows officers confirming nothing like that would happen again.

Several hours later, Jones reported not feeling well and was evaluated by a medical professional at the jail, who said she was in good health and released her back to her cell. Employees at the jail checked on Jones repeatedly throughout the night and found her fine every time, until she was eventually found unresponsive. Paramedics declared Jones was dead on the scene.

Meanwhile, Jones’s family, including the preteen daughter she left behind, is anxiously awaiting the reason for Jones’s death. Her sister, Renee Ashford, says that Jones was perfectly healthy when she visited and spoke to her on the phone.

“She was perfectly fine. She didn’t complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything,” Ashford said.

Jones’s death came just weeks after the tragic death of Sandra Bland, who was found hanging in her cell in Waller County jail. Bland’s death spurred a social media trend on Black Twitter, #IfIDieInPoliceCustody. People have been tweeting their declarations that if they are arrested and die it was not of their own doing.

Jones’s family is still awaiting the official cause of her death, but an autopsy did not reveal any suspicious injuries. They are hoping to receive answers soon.

“Every time we call we don’t get an answer and that’s the upsetting part,” Ashford said.

Following the release of the police custody videos, Jones’s family released the following statement:

“We are devastated by Ralkina’s death. We do not fully understand all of the facts and circumstances surrounding her death but look forward to the results of the pending investigations. Ralkina was a loving mother, caring sister and devoted daughter who will be deeply missed by all. We cannot begin to express the pain our family is going through and continues to go through each time this video is played. It is a constant reminder of Ralkina’s last moments that we would rather not relive. We feel the reasons surrounding Ralkina’s arrest should not overshadow what caused her death to occur. Our family would like to express our appreciation for all of the support we received and we ask for the respect of our privacy during this difficult time.”

Latest News

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…

Comcast NBCUniversal’s NBCU Academy Partners With 13 New Academic Institutions

Originally published at corporate.comcast.com. Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   NBCU Academy, NBCU News Group’s multi-platform journalism training and development program, significantly expanded its reach to 30 institutions by adding 13 new partners, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced. The new…