Jesse Stowers, 43, Died Shortly After Being Arrested By Denver Police Officials
DENVER, COLORADO (December 9, 2023) - A 43-year-old man has tragically died following a medical emergency after being arrested by Denver Police officials near Fusion Studios condominium complex.
Denver County officials are saying that the incident began around 9:20 a.m. on November 26. Police were called to Fusion Studios at 3737 Quebec Street after getting reports that Jesse Stowers may have tampered with his ankle monitor.
The man had a court order barring him from the apartment complex and officers said that they found his ankle monitor in an alleyway outside. Body camera footage shows police force their way into a bathroom where the suspect was allegedly flushing some substance down a sink or toilet.
He was arrested at the scene and transported to jail in a police vehicle. At some point during the ride, he experienced a medical emergency and became unresponsive.
Nalaxone was administered before he was transported to a local hospital. Sadly, Jesse Stowers was later pronounced dead by medical staff. Authorities suspect that a drug overdose may have played a role in his death.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Denver In-Custody Deaths
Deaths in police and jail custody remain alarmingly common. According to National Public Radio, “From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons rose more than 600%, according to an analysis of newly-released data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In county jails, overdose deaths increased by more than 200%.” People who have recently been apprehended are particularly vulnerable. There are a number of steps that police officers should take to prevent overdose deaths involving suspects.
- Officers should be trained to recognize the signs of a drug overdose which may include unresponsiveness, shallow breathing and erratic behavior.
- Officers should use effective communication to determine if a suspect has recently used drugs.
- Officers should request emergency medical services if they suspect an overdose is taking place.
- Officers should position suspects in a way that maintains an open airway.
All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with adequate care for their health conditions. This includes acute health needs brought on by a drug overdose. For the most part, drug overdoses are reversible when an inmate is given prompt care. In particular, Nalaxone should be administered if a suspect is overdosing on opioids. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim.
Consider, for example, the unfortunate death of Amy Lynn Cross. She was booked into a Weld County jail and her medical condition continued to worsen. Court records indicate that she pleaded with deputies for hours to get help as she was going through a drug overdose. Correctional officers continued to ignore her demands for aid even as she clearly exhibited signs of going through a drug overdose. Sadly, she later died in-custody due to methamphetamine toxicity. Her family eventually reached a settlement with the county. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any in-custody death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- Body camera footage from all officers involved should be sought.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
- An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.
Police officers are supposed to follow their training and do everything in their power to prevent in-custody deaths. But far too often this does not take place. Officers may miss obvious signs of an overdose. Or they may allow illicit drugs to get smuggled into a jail complex. It is important that suspects and their families understand their rights. The family of any person that died in police custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Denver County In-Custody Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jesse Stowers. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of this man’s family. So many questions about what happened still remain unanswered.
Do you need more information about a Denver County in-custody death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to assist you in any way that we can. We are committed to helping people understand their rights and holding police departments accountable for their abuse and neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident involving the police we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.