Gynnya McMillen, 16, was found “cold” and not breathing in her cell at Elizabethtown’s Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention when a deputy arrived to take her to her Jan. 11 court date.
Jail staffers first called 911 nine minutes after the deputy arrived — and waited another two to start CPR, according to emergency dispatch recordings obtained by CBS.
The juvie staffers only started the resuscitation procedures after the emergency dispatcher asked.
“They want us to start CPR,” a jail nurse is heard saying to someone at the facility.
“Do y'all have a CPR protocol or do y'all need it?” the dispatcher asked about 10 seconds later.
The detention center originally said that the teen had died in her sleep, but recently told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting that a restraint had been applied to her during an incident the day before.
A spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice said that McMillen refused to take off her sweatshirt for a booking photo, prompting the "Aikido restraint" by multiple guards.
Aikido is a form of Japanese martial art that allows a practitioner to defend him or herself without hurting their attacker. Since Aikido is a style of martial arts and not a specific move, it’s unclear exactly how the teen was restrained.
Michele Deitch, a juvenile justice expert at University of Texas at Austin, told CBS of the move’s motive, “As far as I'm concerned that is a completely inappropriate use of a restraint.
McMillen, who was brought in the morning of Jan. 10 for a misdemeanor assault in a domestic incident at her mother’s house, was discovered dead in a “sleeping position” the next day.
Juveniles at the center are supposed to be checked on by staff every 15 minutes, though McMillen was not given regular visual checks through the window in her cell, and could have gone unchecked for hours.
Guards also did not try to wake her up after she did not respond to verbal offers of food or a telephone call at 6:30 a.m., 8:17 a.m. and 8:53 a.m.
Staff only tried to get her out of bed when she was due for a court appearance about 10 a.m.
The detention center has placed one employee, Reginald Windham, on paid leave after he missed an unspecified number oof checks.
An preliminary autopsy gave no cause of death and said there were no signs of trauma or drug overdose.
Juveniles alone in cells are under constant surveillance at the Kentucky facility.
Coroner Dr. William Lee saw a recording of McMillen’s final night and told WDRB the last movement occurred about midnight.
The teen’s family has asked to see the video and also questioned the length of time it has taken for authorities to release information about the circumstances of their loved one’s death. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/kentucky-teen-martial-arts-restraint-death-article-1.2514538