Family of Keishon Thomas, victim of in-custody death, wants answers
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Shocking video was released today, April 8, by Milwaukee Police. As the investigation of the in-custody death of Keishon Thomas continues, family wants to know why only 17 minutes of his 16 hours in custody has been made public.
In the video, Thomas tells police he ingested a rock and an ecstasy pill and that he had smoked marijuana before the arrest. At one point, Thomas tells police he doesn't feel well. An officer asks if he wants to go to the hospital. He says no, so they take him to a holding cell instead.
From the start, Keishon Thomas was respectful to the officer who pulled him over on Capitol Drive.
"He's always been a very respectful, very polite young man," said Jennifer Garcia, Thomas' cousin.
Even as Thomas attempts to conceal what police believe was narcotics, he was apologetic.
On the video you hear, "He's trying to eat it. I'm sorry. All right, so there's one rock. Where's the other? I have no more, I ate 'em. I ate the little smoke I had."
Thomas' family has a real problem, knowing officers saw him swallow something, and didn't get him help.
"Whether they want it or not, you should be getting them medical assistance for that," said Vaun Mayes, community activist.
Later, it appears Thomas ingests even more.
"The subject was seated and handcuffed in the temporary booking room when he reached into his buttocks area and removed a packaged white substance believed to be narcotics that he placed into his mouth and began chewing," said Milwaukee Police Inspector Shannon Seymer-Tabaska.
In the video you see police asking Thomas about any drugs he ingested. "I had a lot. You had a lot? I think so. I think we should send him to the hospital. Should I get an ambulance here? I don't know. I don't want to go to the hospital. I should be okay. I know you don't want to but like how many ecstasy pills did you have? Like one and a half."
"He speaks many times saying he wasn't feeling well and when the question is asked, are you doing okay and you say no I feel bad, I feel bad, I think that that should be, should've been enough," said Garcia.
Also released, surveillance and body cam from District 5 two days later when a man walked into the lobby, asked police about Thomas' in-custody death, and then opened fire, bullets pierced the desk, and civilians took cover.
On the video you hear officers tell the suspect to drop the gun. Then you hear multiple shots fired.
Darreon Parker-Bell sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He survived and faces multiple charges, including attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
"This involves our entire community because a simple traffic stop should not be death sentence in the city of Milwaukee," said Brian Verdin with Milwaukee Allegiance Against Racist and Political Repression.
Three officers involved in Thomas' investigation are on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation. The family is calling for their names to be released.