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56-year-old inmate dies at Cuyahoga County Jail; 2 MetroHealth employees terminated

Edrick H. Brooks was found unresponsive in his cell.

CLEVELAND — A 56-year-old inmate in the Cuyahoga County Jail died in the early hours on Friday, Dec. 9.

According to the county, a correction officer found Edrick H. Brooks unresponsive in his cell at approximately 2:40 a.m. on Friday. EMS responded as emergency medical protocol was administered and Brooks was pronounced dead at 2:57 a.m.

The death was reported to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner who responded and started their investigation. An autopsy is underway.

No apparent signs of foul play or trauma were observed and an investigation is ongoing. In a statement sent on Friday, Dec. 9, MetroHealth announced it would be conducting an internal review and has placed two employees on unpaid, administrative suspension.

Two weeks later on Friday, Dec. 23, MetroHealth released a statement that the two employees who were suspended initially have been terminated. 

"The two employees who were suspended after the death of Edrick H. Brooks Jr. at the Cuyahoga County Jail on December 9 have been terminated by MetroHealth. This action comes after an internal review. MetroHealth remains committed to delivering high quality care at the Jail and in every other setting."

In November, two inmates at the Cuyahoga County Jail -- a 32-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman -- each died within a 24-hour span.

"This is sad for the family and our staff," a County spokesperson said in a statement at the time. "We’ve increased safety for inmates and Correction Officers by adding two drug detection dogs, two body scanners, issuing suicide prevention blankets, removing bed rails from bunks, adding cameras and radios, and working with MetroHealth to assure physical and behavioral health access."

Editor's note: The video in the player at the top of this story is from a previous story.

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