23-year-old man dies after suffering ‘medical emergency’ in Harris County jail, deputies say

The Harris County Jail is seen in this Jan. 7, 2016, photo taken in downtown Houston. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Houston police are investigating the death of a 23-year-old man who allegedly passed away after suffering a medical emergency in the Harris County Jail on Tuesday.

Officials with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said 23-year-old Kevin Smith was taken to the jail’s clinic where he was seen by a Harris Health medical staff at 10:40 a.m. Shortly after, Smith was transported to the hospital by ambulance and was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:25 a.m.

Officials said Smith had no obvious physical injuries.

The Houston Police Department is investigating the death in accordance with state law that requires all jail deaths to be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency.  

The Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division is also investigating to determine whether all applicable policies and procedures were followed, which is standard following the death of an inmate.

Smith’s cause of death will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. In addition, the death has been reported to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.


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