Eighth inmate dies in a Riverside County jail this year, sheriff says

A Riverside man died in a county jail Thursday, the sheriff’s department reported. It said no foul play was suspected.

Damon Bietz, 48, was found unresponsive in the intake area at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department, which manages the county’s five jails. Deputies and jail medical personnel attempted to administer aid to Bietz, but he was pronounced dead.

The release said there are no signs of foul play in Bietz’s death. It did not say how long Bietz had been at the jail or what he had been arrested for.

Bietz’s death is the eighth announced by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at county jails this year. Last year, 19 deaths were reported in county jails, the most in at least 15 years. Earlier this year, the state attorney general’s office announced it was launching an investigation into the sheriff’s department focused in part on the number of deaths in the jails and whether civil rights violations have happened there.

At least seven lawsuits have been filed against the sheriff’s department by people whose family members died in the jails last year, including one last week by two parents who say their son died after he was not given medical care while he was overdosing.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Eighth inmate dies in a Riverside County jail this year, sheriff says

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