Texas man dies in police custody after he was reportedly denied medication

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Reports of another person dying in police custody have surfaced in what's becoming an all too familiar story.

Jesse Jacobs died after he was denied access to a prescribed medication during his stay at the Galveston County Jail back in March, The Advocate reports.

The Texas man, who was serving a 30-day sentence for driving while intoxicated, had been taking Xanax for many years to treat severe anxiety disorder. It's unclear why jail officials withheld Jacobs' medication.


Jacobs began suffering seizures—a side effect of abruptly going off of Xanax—by his fourth day in jail, The Advocate says, but it was only after becoming unresponsive on day seven that he was taken to Galveston's University of Texas-Medical Branch, where he died.

Jacobs, who was gay, was 32 years old at the time of his death.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

"I'm angry," Jacobs' father told Houston's ABC 13. "As far as I'm concerned, they executed my son—just as sure as if they'd put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger."

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochessett insists that Jacobs died of "natural causes," although The Advocate notes that police have offered conflicting reports as to when and how he was found unresponsive.


"I don't know if the family is trying to throw some red flag into the air that we apparently did something to him," Trochessett told Houston-area LGBTQ entertainment publication AbOUT Magazine, "when he just died of natural causes in jail.”

ABC 13 reports that Galveston County has refused to release Jacobs' intake records or any jail video as they expect that Jesse's parents will file a lawsuit.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Jacobs' story echoes those of Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, Rexdale Henry, Ralkina Jones, Raynette Turner, and countless others who died under questionable, and seemingly preventable, circumstances while in police custody.


Fusion has reached out to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office for comment. We will update if we hear back.

Related coverage:

People who should be released from jail are dying there instead
Why focusing on suicide in the deaths of Sandra Bland and Kindra Chapman misses the point
What Sandra Bland’s death tells us about mental health and the police


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