911 calls give clearer picture of mental-health crisis before Cedric Lofton died

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 9:43 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The 911 calls leading up to 17-year-old Cedric Lofton becoming unresponsive while in custody at the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC) shed more light on the mental health crisis involving the teen that led to the in-custody incident. Lofton later died at a Wichita hospital.

Of four calls to 911, the first three give us a better idea of the mental health crisis Lofton suffered, both the night he became unresponsive last September and days before. The first two calls are from Lofton’s foster father. The other two from from workers in the JIAC facility, both before and after the teen stopped breathing.

In an emergency call, Lofton’s foster father told a dispatcher that at school, Lofton said the security guards were secret agents planning to kill him and that at home, he wasn’t letting anyone into his room, saying it was the only part of the house that wasn’t bugged.

“We were supposed to take him to ComCare today because he’s been having some, we think, schizophrenic episodes,” Lofton’s foster father is heard telling the dispatcher.

On the second 911 call two days later, Lofton’s foster father said the teen was “having like, a mental breakdown,” and that he put in an immediate notice to discharge Lofton from his home. He said Lofton showed up anyway and started causing issues outside. He asked for Lofton to be taken to ComCare for a mental-health check.

“He’s really paranoid. He things everyone’s trying to kill him. He said that he could have access to a gun if he needs it,” Lofton’s foster father told the dispatcher.

The police officers who responded to the emergency call brought Lofton to JIAC instead, using a WRAP restraint. The next 911 call happens as JIAC guards struggle with Lofton inside his cell. Like the teen’s foster father, they asked for officers to come and take Lofton for a mental-health screen. Shortly following was the final call to 911 when Lofton stopped breathing. The JIAC guard making that call said they didn’t have a trained nursing staff or an AED.

“We’re performing chest compressions. I don’t have an AED,” the guard told the dispatcher.

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