At those hearings, usually a day after arrest, a judge decides based on initial evidence whether a suspect should be released from custody or transported to D.C. jail to await trial.
Less than seven hours after Byrd’s arrest, a guard counting inmates just after midnight on Oct. 1 discovered Byrd in his cell, according to a police report. The guard performed CPR on Byrd and he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m.
Keena Blackman, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Corrections, said in a statement Friday that the investigation into his death is ongoing. “Our condolences remain with his family during this difficult time,” the statement said.
The cause and manner of Byrd’s death are still pending, an official with the District’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said.
In a statement distributed Thursday by Black Lives Matter D.C., Byrd’s mother, Roxane Johnson, said her son’s death has left her family “traumatized.”
“We need answers. My son was in great health. What happened to cause his death while in the custody of the DC Department of Corrections? Nothing will bring my son back — but I am demanding to know what happened to my son! He meant the world to me and my family,” his mother said.
In the statement, April Goggans, core organizer for Black Lives Matter D.C., said Byrd was on his way to sign up for a job training program when he was stopped by police. Goggans said the organization was “demanding public transparency and accountability” in the city’s investigation into Byrd’s death.
Justin Wm. Moyer contributed to this report.