Sources: Detectives Denied Access to Jail After Inmate's Death

Sources told News4 Fairfax County Police detectives have been blocked access to the county's detention center in their efforts to investigate an inmate's death.

However, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Sheriff's office said the charge that detectives have been blocked from the center is not true.

Natasha McKenna, 37, of Alexandria was taken off life support Sunday, five days after she was stunned at the Fairfax County jail, the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

McKenna was in the process of being transported from the Fairfax County jail to the Alexandria city jail Tuesday when deputies say she failed to comply with their commands and resisted them. A deputy then used a Taser to restrain her, Lt. Steve Elbert said Monday.

After being stunned, Elbert said a medic checked on and cleared McKenna, and that she was then moved to another area of the jail, where she began experiencing a medical emergency. Deputies and medical staff began life-saving measures before McKenna was taken to a hospital and put on life support.

Elbert said minutes passed between when McKenna was stunned and her medical emergency but didn't know how many. "It was not an immediate thing,'' he said.

Elbert declined to say how many times the deputy stunned McKenna and where on her body she was hit. He also declined to elaborate about how she resisted the deputies trying to transport her.

The Fairfax County Police Department is leading the investigation into McKenna's death, agency spokesman Bud Walker said Monday. Walker also declined to discuss how many times McKenna was stunned or where on her body she was hit, saying that won't be released until the investigation is finished.

The Journal of the American Law Enforcement Legal Center, which compiles information about court cases involving the police, notes Tasers are commonly recognized as acceptable in use for "involuntary cell extractions" when a prisoner reguses to leave his or her cell.

The center has numerous surveillance cameras and was recently featured on MSNBC's "Lock Up" series. 

Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid said in a statement Sunday that her office anticipates "a prompt and comprehensive investigation.''

McKenna had been jailed since Jan. 26 on a charge of assault on a police officer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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