Suit blames Louisiana jail conditions for prisoner's death

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal lawsuit claims poor medical care and dangerous conditions at a Louisiana jail led to the death of a prisoner who hanged himself in his cell last year.

Relatives of Lamar Alexander Johnson sued East Baton Rouge Parish and its sheriff on Thursday, blaming the 27-year-old's death on a "culture of violence and indifference to prisoner welfare" at the parish jail.

The suit claims Johnson is one of at least four people who have died at the jail since 2013 due to "inadequate" medical and mental health care. It alleges Johnson wasn't properly treated for a severe reaction to synthetic marijuana before hanging himself.

A spokeswoman for Sheriff Sid Gautreaux called Johnson's death "unfortunate and tragic" but said there are no "evidence or facts" to support the suit's claims.

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