DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Police Department has reprimanded an officer for failing to provide treatment for a woman who ultimately died in custody.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner ruled Diamond Ross, 35, died of an accidental drug overdose.
The case took place in August of 2018, but only became public this week when Dallas Police suddenly released videos and information about it.
The department says it wants to be transparent.
The woman’s mother, Ethelyn Ross said Thursday she and her family had recently made peace with her death, when suddenly a detective called Wednesday saying the story was coming out.
“I’ve been going on a year now not knowing anything about this.”
She said only after watching the three videos Dallas Police suddenly released did she learn the department scrutinized police officers’ actions before her daughter’s death.
Ross can be heard asking for water in video from an officer’s body camera and complaining she couldn’t breathe in video inside the police car.
Police initially responded after getting a call that she was in a disturbance.
DPD says officers requested an ambulance to evaluate Ross.
But officers took her into custody for outstanding city warrants after paramedics said Ross was fine and could be transported.
Officers kept her on scene for awhile, but when they arrived at the city’s detention facility, Ross appeared unresponsive as they placed her into a wheelchair.
No word if she was breathing at that point.
But after a detention officer tried to determine that, she called paramedics who arrived four minutes later, performed CPR, then transported to the hospital where she died.
Ross’ mother said officers should not have brought her to the detention facility. “She should have went straight to the hospital.”
Kia’tenai Thomas, Diamond Ross’ niece said, “She was not active. She wasn’t responsive and I’m not understanding how were you able to get her through the front door all the way back there to put her in the cage and realize she wasn’t breathing when y’all got there?
After conducting an internal affairs investigation, the Dallas Police Department gave a written reprimand to one of its officers, Sr. Cpl. Larry Moody, after he failed to provide medical treatment for Ross as required by department policy and for failing to secure her in a seatbelt when transporting her.
Thomas said she wishes the officer acted sooner. “She would still be here.”
She said the family plans to call an attorney.
Dallas Police referred this case to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, which declined to prosecute the officer because the woman died of an accidental overdose.
Another officer involved, resigned for personal reasons, not related to this investigation.