Protest, ‘birthday party’ held outside Pima County jail after inmate deaths

KOLD News Staff, KOLD | Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 10:17 PM MST | Last updated February 11, 2022, at 10:18 PM MST (As of March 11, 2022)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – The No More Jail Deaths Coalition held a protest outside of the Pima County Adult Detention Complex on Friday, Feb. 11, following the deaths of seven inmates within the past several months.

Many protesters held signs and banners emblazoned with the names and photos of those who died.

The protest falls on what would have been the birthday of Cruz Patino Jr. III, who died of pneumonia in the jail in August.

The coalition said in a news release sent ahead of the protest Patino’s death came hours after a nurse employed by Centurion Health examined him.

“I wouldn’t be celebrating my birthday without my son if they would have done their job in taking care of the lives that they’re responsible for,” his mother, Frances Guzman, was quoted as saying in a news release.

The family of Justin Cronk, who died in the jail in May 2021, said Sheriff Chris Nanos had done little to nothing to address families’ concerns or make any changes.

“It’s not going to help our son, but it may help someone else’s son or daughter or father or brother,” Cronk’s stepfather, Derrick Graham, was quoted as saying.

Deputies say late Friday they responded “to keep the peace.”

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

See: KOLD video broadcast and original article.

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