CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCCU) — Tuesday night over a dozen local activists and community members protested multiple inmate deaths that happened while in Champaign county custody.
Activists said three inmate deaths behind bars in the last 6 months is three too many.
This was prompted by Veronica Horstead's death last Friday due to health issues as well as Paul Clifton's death in March from natural causes.
It was also prompted by Toya Frazier's death in December, after police say she smuggled drugs into the county jail.
Brian Dolinar, from the Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice, said he brought community leaders together Tuesday night to show the county board there needs to be changes in arrest standards and protocol.
"These are tragic deaths that have great ripple out in the community," Dolinar said. "These people were well-known. They have children in town here, who attend the schools and we hear back from the teachers that these children don't have any explanation for why "auntie" is gone, and they deserve an explanation."
The Champaign County Sheriff's office says they are troubled by the inmate deaths as well. They say they will continue to work diligently, thoroughly investigating the deaths of the recent inmates.
Moving forward, Dolinar said he hopes this will impact officer protocol and attention to inmates. He said he hopes the city will listen and work together to make changes in arrest standards.