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Eighth person dies in Metro Corrections custody since November

Exterior of Louisville Metro Corrections.
Roberto Roldan

Another person detained at Louisville’s downtown jail died early Monday morning, officials said. 

This is the eighth death of a person in the custody of Metro Corrections since late November, and the second in-custody death this month. Department officials said 50-year-old Barry Williams Sr. had been at the jail since May of 2020 and was awaiting transfer to a state institution.

Corrections officials said a jail officer responded to a medical emergency late Sunday night and found Williams unresponsive. Metro Corrections Assistant Director Steve Durham said in a statement on-site health staff carried out initial lifesaving efforts until the arrival of emergency services. Metro EMS transported him to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he died after midnight.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has not yet determined Williams’ cause of death. However, foul play is not suspected, per the agency’s Monday afternoon statement.

Durham said the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating the death, per standard procedure. That unit reviews incidents for potential crimes.

Director Dwayne Clark has also called on Metro Corrections’ Professional Standards Unit to review the case for potential policy violations, Durham said.

Metro Corrections and its leadership are the subject of several investigations, includingtwo commissioned by Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Council. The FBI is also investigating one of the deaths for civil rights violations. 

Jail director Clark plans to retire, he announced earlier this month. His replacement, Metro Corrections veteran Lt. Col. Jerry Collins, will start in the position next Monday.

This story was updated at 3:50 p.m.

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