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SANTA MONICA : Jailed Man Is Found Hanged; 2nd Incident in 2 Months

In the second such incident in as many months, an inmate at the Santa Monica jail has hanged himself in his cell, authorities said.

The man, whose name was not released pending notification of his relatives, was found dead in his cell at 5:30 p.m. Monday, when jailers went to serve dinner and perform an hourly check on the prisoners. He had apparently suspended himself from the top of the cell door with his sweat shirt, said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Gary Gallinot.

An autopsy by the county coroner indicated that the man died from strangulation.

The victim, a homeless man, had been in police custody about 24 hours. He had been arrested Sunday afternoon on suspicion of failing to pay for a taxi ride from Orange County, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of probation on an assault charge, Gallinot said.

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The suicide follows a jail death on Dec. 4, when an inmate used his T-shirt to hang himself from the upper bunk of the cell he shared with another prisoner.

After that suicide, police investigated and concluded that no policies needed to be changed.

Police said Monday’s suicide will be investigated further. Said Gallinot: “Any time something like this happens, we re-evaluate our procedures. This time is no exception.”


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