Old technology may have kept Cleveland Heights officers from seeing health issues of woman who died in jail

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS - City officials say two reports indicate that older technology in its jail video monitoring system may have left officers unable to see the health problems experienced by an inmate who died in her cell.

In July, 37 year-old Ralinka Jones was arrested for assaulting her ex-husband.

She told Cleveland Heights police, "I don't want to die in your cell."

Jones was found dead about 15 hours later.

She told officers that she was being treated for several medical conditions, including seizures and depression - and that she needed her prescriptions.

Video shows that she did receive care, and she was taken to a doctor at one point.

But, the city says, the video monitoring system that it had in place in the jail likely only registered larger motions inside a cell - not smaller ones.

In addition, the system may have been receiving more video information than it could handle - which could lead to "gaps" in the video, because the system couldn't process all that it was receiving.

"While the system appears to be working as it was designed, the technology is outdated," says Steven Kyer, a technician at Paladin Professional sound, who conducted the test.

That system has now been upgraded to "assure that activities inside the jail are recorded and documented at all times," says City Manager Tanisha Briley.

The city says that the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has not released its findings in Jones' death.

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