Video evidence released surrounding Portsmouth City Jail inmate’s death

Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 17:27:16-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – WTKR has obtained details about Pamela Riddick, 66, who died while in custody of the Portsmouth City Jail on August 29.

Riddick died less than two days after she was arrested on grand larceny charges.

Family attorney Don Scott said video evidence surrounding Riddick’s death shows complete negligence from the Sheriff’s Office and is demanding for a grand jury to investigate the matter.

Scott also wants the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Stephanie Morales, to step down from the case.

WTKR spoke with Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Capt. Lee Cherry on October 30, 2017.

Cherry replied, “Mr. Riddick had denied medical treatment. She didn’t want any medical treatment. The one person who says she was hollering and screaming–we have three witnesses that were inmates in adjoining cells that signed documents that they didn’t hear any screaming.”

However, Scott and family members believes Riddick died inside the cell and that deputies did not follow proper polices and procedues.

Scott said the video evidence shows an inmate next to Riddick’s cell waving out for help around 4 a.m. on August 23.

He also mentioned there were no deputies nearby as state police says they’re suppose to check on inmates twice an hour.

“I guarantee you that nobody lost their job because Pamela Riddick died,” Scott added. “Nobody was held accountable. Not one person.”

The family attorney told WTKR that he wants Morales to step down from the case because he believes there’s enough evidence for a grand jury to get involved, and he is accusing Morales of not being transparent about the investigation with the family.

“She told us back in February that after 90 days she would get back with us and let us know what happened, but we haven’t heard a peep,” said Scott. “She hadn’t reached out to us, and we don’t feel like its our responsibility to reach out to do her job,” Scott mentioned.

The Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office said they’re currently conducting an internal investigation to make sure Riddick’s case was handled properly.

Family attorney Don Scott hasn’t said whether or not they will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office, but will continue to do whatever is necessary to get justice for Riddick.

The Commonweath’s Attorney responded to Don Scott’s allegations with a statement below:

“The case is still being actively investigated. There are additional investigative tasks that have been requested of the Portsmouth Police Department. Those investigative tasks are still pending, and the investigation is not complete until we receive the results of these tasks. Our office is not an investigative body, and we lack the resources to independently conduct our own investigations without the assistance of police investigators.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales initially requested a meeting with Ms. Riddick’s family in October 2017. Ms. Riddick’s family declined to meet with our office until early 2018, and a meeting was finally arranged in February 2018, at which time Ms. Morales met with Ms. Riddick’s family and her attorneys. During that meeting, Ms. Morales informed the family and their attorneys about the general procedure the investigation would follow. Ms. Morales advised the family and their attorneys that our office would be requesting that the Portsmouth Police Department perform additional investigative tasks to complete the file, and that the investigation was incomplete until we received the results. During that meeting, Ms. Morales advised the family and their attorneys to contact her at any time for updates on the status of the investigation. Our office never received a subsequent request for an update on the status of the investigation from the family or their attorneys. Ms. Morales remains available to discuss the ongoing investigation with the family and recognizes the difficulty of their situation and the pain of their loss.

To avoid any future misinterpretation, our office is releasing simultaneously with this statement an advisory detailing the procedures we follow in cases involving in-custody deaths and officer-involved shootings. Our goal is to ensure that the public is not misled by any inaccurate information from third parties.”

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