State won’t seek charges against corrections officers following Duval County jail inmate’s death

The Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office has concluded its investigation into the in-custody death of a Duval County jail inmate, concluding that no law enforcement personnel will face charges in the 30-year-old’s death.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office has concluded its investigation into the in-custody death of a Duval County jail inmate, concluding that no law enforcement personnel will face charges in the 30-year-old’s death.

Daniel Taylor was accused of trespassing at the Omni Hotel and arrested Aug. 13, 2021 on a misdemeanor charge. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he went to his first court appearance and was scheduled to be released the same day but was told he had to return to his cell to wait for the discharge process.

JSO said he didn’t want to go back to his cell and that there was a physical altercation in which a corrections officer was bitten and Taylor suffered self-inflicted injuries. The State Attorney’s Office report notes that he fought multiple officers for over 30 minutes and repeatedly banged his head on the ground, cutting his forehead.

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According to the report, multiple officers tried to subdue Taylor, but were unable to restrain him. One officer described Taylor’s strength as “superhuman.” The report states that Taylor had a cocktail of drugs in his system, “likely giving rise to his stamina and surge in strength.”

The report notes that officers used no weapons or pepper spray and that there was “no inappropriate or excessive force” used against him.

The executive summary states that the toxicology report revealed Taylor had amphetamine, methamphetamine and cannabis in his system -- and that it’s “believed he must have ingested the drugs while at the PTDF (Pre-trial Detention Facility).” The report says he’d been at the jail for over 12 hours and “did not display this type of behavior earlier in the day.”

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was called to the jail to check on Taylor’s injury, the report notes, and because Taylor continued to be combative, JFRD made the decision to inject Taylor with ketamine. According to the report, Taylor lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest. He died in a hospital a week later.

The report shows that there were two autopsies. Both pathologists found Taylor didn’t suffer an injury from the struggle with staff that contributed to his death -- and both pathologists concluded the ketamine was not a contributing factor.

One pathologist ruled the cause of death a homicide, despite not attributing the injury or ketamine as a cause for the cardiac arrest, the report shows. The second pathologist ruled it accidental, finding Taylor’s death was the result of physical exertion and the drugs he ingested.

The SAO states in the report; “In light of these conflicting medical opinions, and the facts that 1) there was no inappropriate use of force by any of the correctional staff and 2) the ketamine was not a contributory cause of death, we will take no further action in this matter.”

With the criminal investigation over, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will now begin its internal investigation.


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