SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport police say an investigation is underway into the death of an inmate admitted to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport from the city jail last week.

“When Chief Smith was named substitute Chief of Police for the Shreveport Police Department in August of 2021, he vowed to operate the Shreveport Police Department on platform transparency,” Deputy Chief Antoine White said in a briefing Wednesday morning. “That promise of transparency brings us here this morning.”

White says the police department was notified just before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday that a 39-year-old male inmate that had been to the hospital on April 6 had died. Police have not identified the inmate, but they say he had been booked into the city jail the afternoon before on a charge of violating a protective order.

“On April 6, the man suffered what appeared to be a medical event and fell onto the floor. The jail video showed that the man’s head did hit the floor and suffered what appeared to be a minor head injury,” White said.

The inmate was taken to the hospital for evaluation and was admitted.

“He was alert and speaking to jailers and transporting officers and medical staff at the hospital. He remained hospitalized and his condition was reportedly improving. On April 9, there was a change in his condition and he died during the early morning hours of April 12. The cause of death is unknown at this time and we are awaiting the autopsy results. We have secured video from the jail and we do have the matter under investigation.”

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White did not take questions during the brief news conference.

“We ask for your patience and your understanding, as we cannot release any details at this time, in order to protect the integrity of the investigation. However, it is our promise to the community to release information when we are at a point that it can be released. Again, we ask that keep this man’s family in your thoughts and your prayers.”

White said the police department has spoken to and continues to communicate with the inmate’s family.

SPD has not offered an explanation as to why Chief Smith was not at the briefing Wednesday as previously planned.