DA To Decide Charges in Teen Death

A prosecutor who will decide whether to charge employees of a juvenile center over a Black teen’s death said that an autopsy’s finding that the death was a homicide doesn’t necessarily mean the employees committed any crimes.

The statement from District Attorney Marc Bennett in Sedgwick County came after attorneys for the family of 17-year-old Cedric Lofton described his death as “unjustified.”

They said that they expect Bennett to file criminal charges based on the autopsy and video from a September struggle between Lofton and workers at the county’s Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center.

Bennett said in a statement that a medical examiner’s designation of a death as a homicide means only that someone committed an intentional act that led to the death of another person.

“The determination that the manner of death was ‘homicide’ does not reflect a legal determination on the part of the pathologist regarding the viability of criminal charges,” Bennett said.