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Polk County Jail Inmate Dies After Being Transported To The Hospital

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Press Release From Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Polk County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death of a Polk County Jail inmate that occurred on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center in Lakeland.


29-year-old Shamirah Johnson (female) was arrested on a Lakeland Police Department warrant for VOP (original charges: possession of prescription medication without a prescription, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia) on October 24, 2017, and was being held on no bond.

Upon her initial medical screening at book-in, Johnson’s blood pressure was measured and it was borderline high. She was placed under medical care, and her blood pressure was monitored twice per day.

On October 30, 2017, inmate Johnson complained of not feeling well, with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, and went to the jail infirmary. She was treated by jail medical staff at the jail infirmary until LATER THAT DAY, when the staff made the decision to admit her to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center due to the fact that her condition was not improving. She was transferred to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center October 30, 2017.

While at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, inmate Johnson’s medical condition did not improve, and in fact, it deteriorated. Despite all efforts of the medical staff, she succumbed. She was declared deceased at 9:08 p.m. on October 31, 2017.

Johnson (DOB 08/21/1988), has been in the Polk County Jail on 10 prior occasions, from 2001 to 2017. Her criminal history includes 5 prior misdemeanors and 9 prior felonies, including charges for aggravated battery domestic violence, burglary, grand theft, dealing in stolen property, giving false info the pawn dealer, possession of ecstasy, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and 11 counts violation of probation. In 2015, she was sentenced to a year in prison for the grand theft & giving false info to pawn dealer charges. In March 2017, she was sentenced to one year of probation for the drug possession charges, which was scheduled to end in March 2018.

An autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, November 1st, to determine her cause and manner of death.

This is an ongoing death investigation. It is standard PCSO policy for four separate mandated, independent investigations to be conducted when an inmate dies. The PCSO Administrative Investigations Section is conducting an internal review. The PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations is conducting the death investigation. The Polk County Medical Examiner will conduct the autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death. All of the investigative findings will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for their review.

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