This is the second of two stories about Shamond and Sophia Lewis. Read the first story here.
She wants answers. For now, she only has questions.
Medical records say Shamond came to Parkland Hospital unresponsive. That was about thirteen hours after Dallas Police took him to the jail.
He died six days after arriving at the hospital.
Sophia wants to know what happened between his arrest and his arrival at the hospital. She was at the scene of the arrest. While he appeared to be having a psychotic episode, Sophia said he was otherwise physically fine.
Shamond’s severe mental illness is at the heart of his story. The 24-year-old had struggled with schizophrenia for about five years, sometimes landing in law enforcement custody and other times in the care of a mental health facility.
This time, he never came home.
“This is very life changing, I can’t even describe how I feel,” Sophia Lewis said. “But I need to be his voice.”
A disease that never goes away
Shamond coped with his illness as best he could. He lived on his own in an East Dallas apartment and took medication, his mother said. But she said Shamond still experienced emotional triggers that could lead to psychotic episodes. He even checked himself into a mental health facility this past summer during a dark period.
“He was trying to understand when he had those moments, or that trigger,” she said.
Sophia also said Shamond had had run-ins with law enforcement during previous psychotic “breaks” — those episodes when he lost touch with reality. That included spending time in the state psychiatric hospital in Terrell in 2018 after being declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for a criminal trespass charge. Other charges included drug possession, assault, and theft.
A recurring pattern for Shamond was being booked into the Dallas County Jail, then transferred to a hospital or mental health facility, and then released after treatment.
Sophia assumed that would happen again on September 22nd after her son was arrested for allegedly punching, choking, and threatening a man with a knife. One of Shamond’s neighbors called her and she drove to the scene. Sophia said she told officers multiple times she believed he was experiencing another break.
“I was assuming that everything got transferred over, communication-wise,” she said.
She didn’t hear again from law enforcement. Four days later, she got a call from a doctor at Parkland Hospital.
“Over the phone, she was like, ‘you may want to consider end of life care,’” she recalled. “And I just was emotional. I’m like, shaky.”
Public documents — and medical records obtained by Sophia’s lawyer — provide some detail about what happened at the jail. But there are still many questions.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department didn’t respond to interview requests.
A custodial death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office said Dallas police processed Shamond Lewis into the jail at 12:17 p.m. on September 22nd. He was placed on suicide precaution and at 11:34 p.m. transferred to the second floor. About an hour later, jail staff took Shamond to a room to change into jail clothes.
The report said Shamond refused to change. The staff then handcuffed him, changed his clothes, and placed him in a restraint chair. After that, they took him to get a medical assessment.
“As staff provided Lewis with water, he became unresponsive,” the report said. “Staff transported Lewis to the nurse’s station for medical attention.”
The report stated that paramedics transported Shamond to Parkland.
Parkland records said Shamond was unresponsive when he arrived at 1:53 a.m. on the 23rd. They also indicated he had cannabis in his system and trauma to his arm and face. The medical records said Shamond was “reportedly very agitated at jail intake, requiring multiple individuals to place him in restraints. After about ten minutes of struggle, his eyes reportedly rolled back and he became unresponsive.”
The records indicate he never regained consciousness and the death report said he was pronounced dead on September 29. Parkland referred inquiries to the county jail.
State law requires an outside agency to investigate all deaths in county jail custody. In this case, the Tarrant County Sherriff’s Department is investigating. It declined to comment.