Raynette Turner

A New York mother of eight is the fifth Black woman to die while in police custody in the month of July.

Raynette Turner, 43, died in a Westchester County jail cell after being arrested for allegedly stealing crab legs at a wholesale food store.

Turner was arrested July 25 on the petty larceny charge and was set to be arraigned on July 27. However, the previous evening, she complained about not feeling well and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Turner was diagnosed with high blood pressure.

The next day, the defendant’s husband, Herman Turner sat at Mount Vernon City Court patiently awaiting her appearance for the arraignment. She never made it, however, dying just two hours before her 4 p.m. arraignment.

Turner’s family was not notified of her death until the following morning when police detectives told them at their house.

(Left clockwise) Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, Raynette Turner, Joyce Curnell, and Ralkina Jones. (Photos Courtesy of AP, Twitter , Screenshots from 13 Action News and YouTube, and handout)

“I want somebody’s head to roll on this,” Herman Turner told The Journal News. “I am not going to rest until I get some type of justice for my wife. That’s the bottom line.

“No one said anything to me about my wife was downstairs, dead, they just let me sit in the courtroom all day long, waiting for her to come and be seen by the judge,” he added. “I’m angry, very angry. Somebody needs to pay. Somebody really needs to pay for this. I’m sorry, I’m not going to let this rest.”

Turner’s autopsy is still currently pending for the cause of her death.

The case has drawn attention in social media and elsewhere, coming in the wake of the well-publicized deaths of four other Black women in police custody, including:

  • Sandra Bland, 28, of Texas who was pulled over on July 10 for failing to use a turn signal.  According to authorities she committed suicide on July 13.
  • Kindra Chapman, 18, from Alabama was arrested for allegedly stealing a cell phone.  She was charged with first-degree robbery on July 14 and found dead the same day from “asphyxia by hanging.”
  • Joyce Curnell, 50, of South Carolina was arrested on July 21 due to an outstanding warrant for shoplifting.  The following day she was found dead in her cell.  Her autopsy is currently pending, and;
  • Ralkina Jones, 37, from Cleveland was arrested on July 25 for a domestic dispute and was charged with assault, domestic violence, endangering a child, and criminal mischief.  Jones was then taken to a hospital after appearing “lethargic.”  She was found dead in her cell the following day.  An autopsy performed found “no suspicious injuries” on Jones’ body.