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NYS Attorney General's Investigation Intensifies In Mount Vernon

Raynette Turner, 42, died while in a holding cell at the Mount Vernon Police Department last week
Raynette Turner, 42, died while in a holding cell at the Mount Vernon Police Department last week Photo Credit: Handout

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Details remain elusive in Mount Vernon, as local officials remain tight-lipped with the New York State Attorney General’s office investigating the death of Raynette Turner, who died in police custody last week.

Nine days after Turner , a mother of eight, was found dead in her holding cell at the Mount Vernon Police Department, countless questions remain as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman takes over the investigation into her death .

Initial autopsy results that were released last week were inconclusive. The official cause of death remains unclear, though Turner, 42, had a history of hypertension and had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. Officials are still awaiting results of toxicology and microbiology reports to determine the official cause.

Mount Vernon Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Burke has stated that “no foul play” is suspected in Turner’s death. Mayor Ernest Davis noted that while the investigation into the incident is ongoing, city officials would remain mum on the issue in an effort not to interfere with the Attorney General’s office.

“We have made every effort to keep the dialogue open surrounding Mrs. Turners’ death and have answered, to the best of our ability, questions put forth by those concerned,” he stated. “Please remain mindful that the investigation is continuing. Every effort will be put forth by this administration to make sure that the death is investigated in a manner that is comprehensive and thorough.”

Earlier this week, Mike Hannon, a member of Blacks in Law Enforcement, criticized the department for holding Turner for so long, after she was arrested last weekend for shoplifting, missed the cutoff to appear in front of a judge, and was awaiting arraignment when she was found dead in her cell.

“As a national organization of law enforcement professionals, we have seen first hand people given desk appearance tickets, or released on their own recognizance, with greater offenses than Turner’s and with higher offenses in their criminal history,” he said.

“The silence is deafening and disappointing from the elected officials of Mount Vernon. Even some of the (mayoral) candidates that have announced their candidacy to run for elected office have been tight-lipped.”

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