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Man dies Sunday in Louisville jail, 16th death since 2021

Exterior of Louisville Metro Corrections.
Roberto Roldan
Louisville Metro Corrections officials said an inmate died on Sunday morning.

The 34-year-old man died of a suspected overdose, according to jail officials.

Corrections officers found Richard Graham, a 34-year-old Black man, unresponsive shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, according to a release from jail officials.

Jail staff and Louisville Metro EMS began “life saving measures,” but Graham died shortly after 4 a.m., according to the release.

Overdose is the suspected cause. Officers received an alert that a Narcan box was opened at the inmate housing complex just before they found Graham. Narcan is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency.

The LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating the death, along with an internal investigation by the Metro Corrections Professional Standards Unit, according to Metro Corrections.

Online jail records show Graham was booked into the facility on May 2. Court records show Louisville Metro police arrested Graham that day around 11 a.m. after officers allegedly saw him driving a stolen car. Police charged him with receiving stolen property valued at more than $10,000 or more. He was released from jail on home incarceration last week. Then, LMPD arrested Graham again on Saturday shortly after 8 a.m. after he allegedly refused to leave an apartment. Police said they found Graham with crack, heroin, pills and a gun. He was due to be arraigned on Monday.

This is the 16th in-custody death since 2021 and the first death reported this year. Last year, a 28-year-old Hispanic man at the downtown facility died by a suicide attempt.

“Loss of life is tragic and something that we never want to see happen,” said Jerry Collins, the chief of Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.

Last year, a facility audit that found medical safety issues and that jail staff were not trained to provide basic medical care. It also found that Metro Corrections couldn’t access medical professionals quickly, aside from staffing and security issues.

In 2023, Mayor Craig Greenberg announced updates to the intake process which would include a mental health screening.

Protests and calls for reform from activists and community leaders have ramped up since the first jail death in November 2021.

Over 1200 people are currently being held in the main jail complex as of now.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.

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