CLAYTON, Mo. ( - Tashonda Troupe and her attorney Mark Pedroli say they are taking on the St. Louis County Department of Justice Services over the death of Troupe’s son.

Lamar Catchings

Lamar Catchings

“They watched a 20-year-old boy die,” said Pedroli.

They have filed a lawsuit against the county and Acting Director of the Justice Center Julia Childery for withholding public documents surrounding the death of Troupe’s son, inmate Lamar Catchings, who died in March.

“The guards told him to quit acting like a baby, so that left my son to go in his cell and just endure this pain on his own,” said Troupe.

READ: Jailed man dies from undiagnosed leukemia in St. Louis County; mom said he got no help

Records show he died from a curable form of leukemia, a condition Pedroli says jail staff never treated him for.

“He couldn’t eat, he was having nausea, he was throwing up,” said Troupe.

Pedroli says he sent Childery a Sunshine Request with a list of 24 different sets of public records. Some of the items were for things such as the jail’s budget and how many inmates were in the jail.

Childery responded by email saying the records were closed and they wouldn’t be releasing them.

“We don’t even have the records of his treatment in the hospital, if he received any,” said Pedroli.

News 4 went by the jail to speak with Childery and was told she wasn’t in the office.

Childery also wasn’t present during a special St Louis County Council hearing held this week. During that hearing, council members heard from Troupe. The hearing was held after three inmates, including Catchings, died while in custody.

News 4 reached out to the county council for comment and are waiting to hear back.

“You can get picked up for traffic tickets for whatever reason and be put in that jail and die, that’s a risk to every resident of St. Louis County, ” Pedroli said.

A spokesperson for the jail says they aren’t commenting right now because it is a legal matter.

The lawsuit will allow for a judge step in to force St. Louis County to hand over the records.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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