NAACP wants special grand jury to investigate Portsmouth City Jail inmate’s death

Posted at 7:52 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 23:30:18-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Portsmouth NAACP says it wants a special grand jury to investigate the death of a city jail inmate who died in August.

The sheriff's office says Pamela Riddick, 56, was jailed August 21 on a Grand Larceny charge and died two days later at Maryview Hospital.

Portsmouth NAACP President James Boyd, who held a press conference with members of Riddick's family in front of the jail Monday, says he believes Riddick died in jail and that policies may not have been followed related to her care.

An inmate has said she called for medical attention to Riddick's cell.

However, Capt. Lee Cherry with the Portsmouth Sheriff's Department says three other witness inmates say there were no calls for help; a claim that is supported by video evidence. He also says all rules were followed.

The NAACP says it wants a response to its request for a grand jury from the Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales by Thursday.

Here's the response Morales sent to News 3 Monday night:

The death of Pamela Riddick in the Portsmouth City Jail is under active investigation by the Portsmouth Police Department.  Once the investigation is complete, our office will review the file in its entirety and make a prosecutorial determination.  I have reached out to the Riddick family on numerous occasions to provide them with an update on the status of this matter and what the process entails moving forward.  I remain available to meet with the Riddick family and I again express my condolences for their loss.