The Arlington County Jail in Virginia is the subject of a civil rights lawsuit filed by the Arlington branch of the NAACP.

The Arlington County Jail in Virginia is the subject of a civil rights lawsuit filed by the Arlington branch of the NAACP.

The Civil Rights Agency wrote a letter Monday to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division requesting an investigation into habits and practices at the Arlington County Detention Center.

In its letter, the NAACP alleges that seven “black and brown men” — all detained at the facility — have died in the past seven years because they were denied adequate medical and mental health care.

The detention center is operated by the office of Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur.

The letter says three of the seven men have died in custody since October 2020. Among them are Paul Thompson, 41, a homeless black man with substance abuse and mental health issues who died last month; Claude Spencer, 58, a black man who died on October 6 in the prison medical unit; and Darryl Becton, who died in his cell on October 1, 2020. Becton’s death was attributed to hypertensive cardiovascular disease complicated by opiate withdrawal.

Becton’s sister filed a $10 million lawsuit last week against medical workers and members of the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office.

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