She went to jail & suffered horrific injuries: 'From healthy to dead in 3 weeks'
IndIa Cummings was a healthy 27-year-old woman when she was arrested on February 1, 2016 in Buffalo, New York and placed inside an Erie County Holding Center. All her family knows is that she was soon transferred to a hospital about two weeks later because of a "medical event." She died on February 21, four days after being admitted.
While there are rumors and reports that Cummings was given some illicit drug that caused her to act out, nothing has come to light in the months following her death.
That Cummings was having a mental episode of some kind when she was arrested is not disputed, what is open to questions is what really happened in the Erie County holding cell for 17 long days and why was she there instead of being transferred to a medical facility so she could get some help?
Preliminary results of her death showed that Cummings had injuries consistent with combat: broken ribs, a broken arm, a blood clot in her leg, severe dehydration and her kidneys were failing when she was admitted to the hospital. Once there, she went brain dead and into cardiac arrest.
Authorities have been tightlipped about Cummings' death, but they have yet to answer vital questions, namely, was she beaten by deputies while in custody?
“It’s difficult to say what happened,” Matthew A. Albert, lawyer Cummings' family, told the Buffalo News. “But she went from physically healthy to dead in three weeks.”
The sheriff says that Cummings received "appropriate" care while in custody. But deputies say she was unruly while in jail. Law enforcement officials say Cummings hit her head on the wall, but are sketchy on details. What is known is that Cummings was not acting herself during the days before and after her arrest and detention.
She was trying to get out of the city an back to Rochester, her hometown, when things went awry, according to witnesses. A neighbor said she was going door to door, asking people to drive her home.
She was freaked, screaming, ‘Help me, help me,’ ” her landlord, David Pintabona, told the Buffalo News. “She was anxious and panicked.”
She would later punch a man and drag him out of his car, according to police, and lead them on a chase which would see her hit a school bus and several cars.
Her mother said she knew her daughter was not there mentally when Cummings didn't even recognize her at her arraignment.
“When I saw her, I knew something was very, very wrong,” her mother, Tawana White of Rochester, told the Buffalo News. “The condition she was in, how she looked, the way she looked at me … as a mother, I knew something was wrong from the very beginning.”
What has perplexed Cummings' family are the circumstances surrounding her death, which preceded her stay in jail.
According to WGRZ, an attorney for the family said that Cummings had "a broken arm, broken ribs, severe dehydration, a blood clot in her leg that would have required the amputation of her leg, and her kidneys were failing. She was brain dead and in cardiac arrest."
Cummings' death is being investigated by the New York State Commission of Correction, but family -- and the community around Rochester -- want answers.
Protesters on Thursday brought traffic to a stand still on E. Main Street in Buffalo during rush hour rally to bring attention to Cummings' death.
The group said that Erie County authorities have repeatedly dragged their feet in releasing the official autopsy on Cummings' mysterious death.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Cummings' mother. It reads:
India was currently residing in Buffalo, NY with her mother in hopes of bettering her life. On February 1, 2016, India unknowingly became a victim of a unknown drug substance, which lead to
erratic behavior. That caused India, to be detained at the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo , NY. During this period of time, Erie County Holding Center. Violated India's rights by failing to provide her emergency medical assistance. Do to the Holding Center's negligence she was detained for a period of 17 days. On February 17, 2016 India went into cardiac arrest and was taken from the Holding Center to Buffalo General Hospital. Upon arrival India was diagnosed with irreversible brain damage along with many other medical finding which resulted in her death on February 21, 2016.