National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

After Baby Dies in Jail Cell, Mother Sues Sheriff

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Deshawn Balka, 25, who was 5 1/2 months pregnant at the time, is alleging a lack of adequate medical care and a slow response to her cries for help when her son was born prematurely in April.

“I wish and I pray that I would have gotten the care that I requested,” she told Channel 2.

Balka’s baby boy was delivered in the toilet of her jail cell. The suit alleges that it took about three hours for someone to respond to Balka’s calls after the pain started. She said jail staff arrived five to 10 minutes after the baby was born.

Sheriff Kem Kimbrough did not comment to Channel 2 Tuesday on the pending litigation, but in April he said Balka received adequate medical care.

Balka was in jail on a probation violation for marijuana possession, the report said. That warrant was later dismissed.

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