Mayor: Richmond Heights police not at fault in woman's death -

Mayor: Richmond Heights police not at fault in woman's death

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV) -- A suburban St. Louis mayor says Anna Brown's death is a tragedy, but not the fault of his city's police officers.
Brown was a 29-year-old homeless woman who died in a jail cell in September from blood clots that formed in her leg and migrated to her lungs, hours after Richmond Heights police arrested her for trespassing at St. Mary's Health Center.
On Monday night, Mayor James Beck told News 4 that the internal review showed Richmond Heights Police acted appropriately in September.  Officers dragged her out of St. Mary’s Hospital for trespassing and left her on a jail cell floor.  Fifteen minutes later Brown died from a blood clot.
“We’re very sad for her family,” said Mayor Beck.  “We think we did everything we could at the time.”

Beck read a statement during the city council meeting that put the burden on St. Mary’s Hospital. 

“The police officers received a doctor’s certification that Ms. Brown was fit for confinement,” he said.
St. Mary’s already released a statement that its staff adequately cared for Anna Brown.  In that statement President Kate Becker said, “unfortunately with appropriate testing and sophisticated technology, blood clots can still be undetected in a small number of cases.”

Now that St. Mary’s and Richmond Heights have cleared themselves, an independent review has begun.  St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch is looking at the case.  Mayor Beck said he didn’t request the review but he welcomes it.

The attorney for Anna Brown’s family has not commented.  But Mayor Beck said the city has been contacted by the family’s attorney.  No lawsuit has been filed.

News 4 reporter John Knicely and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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