Autopsy: Teen Death in Custody Was Homicide

A Black youth’s death following a physical struggle with staff at a Kansas juvenile center was a homicide, according to an autopsy report that contradicts an earlier, preliminary finding that the teenager hadn’t suffered life-threatening injuries.

The report said that 17-year-old Cedric Lofton’s heart and breathing stopped after he was handcuffed while lying on his stomach.

Lofton had briefly been in the custody of the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center in Wichita when his altercation with staff members occurred September 24th.

He was taken to a local hospital and died two days later.

The staff members involved in the struggle have not been identified, but they county said they are on paid administrative leave.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett issued a statement saying his office is reviewing the autopsy report, along with a “lengthy investigation” by the local sheriff’s office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.