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Family claims negligence after death of man jailed at police station

By Jai Cunningham and Matthew Nuttle

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — A family member of the man who died after being found unresponsive in a Honolulu Police Department (HPD) cellblock claims authorities neglected to provide proper medical attention.

Authorities identified the victim as 64-year-old Brian Labra. Police say Labra was found unresponsive in his cell on Thursday just before noon. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he later died.

Labra was awaiting a court appearance after being arrested for a theft warrant.

Labra’s sister, Annette Merandino, contacted Island News and claimed her brother had health problems that required him to wear a special vest that would, if his heart stopped, deliver a shock to try and save his life.

Merandino says she tried to tell police.

“I have proof that I called them at 5:56 in the morning [Thursday] to let them know that my brother needs medical attention, not just the meds. He needs that vest. So, that’s what happened, his heart stopped. And they are saying he died, he was unresponsive in the cell, and [Friday] they are saying that he died at the hospital,” Merandino said.

Merandino says HPD told her to wait until his court appearance and then to contact the Oahu Community Correctional Center with any concerns.

Island News asked HPD about Merandino’s allegations. A spokesperson responded with the following statement:

“The Honolulu Police Department is reviewing Mr. Labra’s death and unable to confirm the details at this time. The safety and well-being of all detainees is a high priority. An administrative investigation has been opened to determine if department policies and procedures were followed.”

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