Wayne County Prosecutor: No charges will be filed in Harper Woods jail death

Priscilla Slater died on June 10, 2020

Image courtesy of Slater's family.
Image courtesy of Slater's family. (WDIV)

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – Charges will not be filed in the death of Priscilla Slater, a woman who died while in custody at the Harper Woods Police Department jail.

Slater died while in custody on June 10, 2020. She was found unresponsive inside a holding cell. Her death led to protests outside city hall, with her family demanding to know how she died.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner said Slater died of cardiac dysrhythmia and the manner of her death was natural, involving no foul play.

READ: Officials say woman who died at Harper Woods jail died of ‘natural causes’

Harper Woods asked the Michigan State Police to launch an investigation. The investigation led to the firing of a deputy chief and a patrol officer, city officials said.

City officials said members of the police department tried to conceal and manipulate evidence in the in custody death investigation of Slater. Deputy Chief John Vorgitch and patrol officer Michael Pineau have been fired, according to authorities.

Michigan State Police investigated the incident and determined that Slater had pre-existing factors that contributed to the fatal heart attack. Police said there is insufficient evidence to prove that the civilian aide on duty when Slater died failed to perform his duties.

Read the full statement from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy below:


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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.