Task force: DOJ should investigate foster teen’s death

March 1, 2022 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A community task force is calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the death of a Black teenager who was restrained facedown for more than 30 minutes at a Kansas juvenile detention center.

Sedgwick County Commission Chairman David Dennis said last month that he was told by county Sheriff Jeff Easter that the FBI requested all information regarding the death of 17-year-old Cedric Lofton. The FBI is part of the Justice Department.

But the task force wasn’t certain about the status of the investigation because its members only knew about it secondhand and they wanted to add their voices to those asking, said member Jazmine Rogers, an organizer with the Wichita-based youth civil rights group Progeny.

Lofton’s foster father called authorities in September seeking help because the teenager was hallucinating. Police initially tried to convince him to go to a mental health facility, but body camera video shows him refusing to go and then resisting when officers tried to force him.


Lofton then was taken to the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center, where he had to be resuscitated after he was held facedown. He died two days later.

The county prosecutor declined to file charges in January, citing the state’s stand-your-ground law self defense law.