Family of man who died after Kankakee County prison transfer to file civil rights lawsuit

'They went from seeing him happy, healthy and fine, to seeing him on a respirator,' said family lawyer John Erickson.

Michelle Gallardo Image
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Family of man who died after prison transfer to file lawsuit
EMBED <>More Videos

The family of Dewayne Tucker will file a civil rights lawsuit after he died following a transfer to Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee County.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was Aug. 16 when 32-year-old Dewayne Tucker was picked up by U.S. Marshals and transferred to the Combs Detention Center. Three weeks and three days later, he was dead.

"He was in the care and custody of the U.S. Marshals and the Kankakee County sheriff, who had an affirmative duty, as they do with all pre-trial detainees, to keep them safe," said John Erickson, the attorney for Dewayne's family.

SEE ALSO | COPA releases video after woman's death in Chicago Police holding cell

At a press conference in the Loop on Tuesday, Dewayne's family, alongside their attorneys, said he had been transferred and was being held at the Combs Detention Center in Kankakee.

"I need to know what went on with my child. Why he leave and be gone three weeks and now he's dead?" said Dennis Tucker Sr., the victim's father.

Dewayne was charged with robbing a PNC bank in the Gold Coast. When he failed to show up for a court hearing on Aug. 30, relatives became worried. But they weren't notified until Sept. 7 that he was hospitalized, suffering from brain swelling and kidney failure brought on by severe dehydration. But they said that wasn't all.

"I believe my brother was brutally beaten. I truly believe he was beaten. He had too many scars on him that he did not have when he left my presence on Aug. 16," said Dennis Tucker Jr., the victim's brother.

Dewayne died at Kankakee's Riverside Hospital on Sept. 9th. Attorneys have been calling on the Department of Justice to mount a full investigation into his death.

RELATED | Activist wins victory in legal fight for information after woman struck by Chicago police car dies

"They never provided the family with any real solid answers at all," Erickson said. "They went from seeing him happy, healthy and fine, to seeing him on a respirator."

As of now, neither the U.S. Marshals Office nor the Kankakee County sheriff have responded to ABC7's requests for information. Attorneys for the Tucker family said they will be filing a civil rights lawsuit in federal court.