Portsmouth NAACP calls for further investigation into inmate’s death

WATCH: The NAACP and family of Pamela Riddick hold a news conference in Portsmouth. App users can watch it here.


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Portsmouth NAACP says it wants a special grand jury to investigate the death of a woman inside the city jail this summer.

10 On Your Side profiled the death of Pamela Riddick in a special report earlier this month.

The sheriff’s office says Riddick declined a medical assessment when she was booked in August — and died less than two days later.

An inmate says she screamed for help and waved a washcloth outside her cell to alert deputies to Riddick’s cell.

However, the jail says three witnesses never heard yelling and surveillance video does not show anyone waving a washcloth.

Family members joined the NAACP tonight on the steps of the jail. They say policies may have been broken which could potentially lead to criminal charges.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office says all the rules were followed.

The NAACP says they want a response from Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales about pursuing an investigation by Thursday.

Morales sent a statement to 10 On Your Side:

The death of Pamela Riddick in the Portsmouth City Jail is under active investigation by the Portsmouth Police Department.  Once the investigation is complete, our office will review the file in its entirety and make a prosecutorial determination.  I have reached out to the Riddick family on numerous occasions to provide them with an update on the status of this matter and what the process entails moving forward.  I remain available to meet with the Riddick family and I again express my condolences for their loss.”