Marcus Heard Was Found Dead in a Kansas Jail. Police Claim Alleged Suicide, But His Family Says He Had A “Bootprint On His Cheek, a Swollen Face” and “He Was Never Suicidal”

​​LYON COUNTY, KS – The family of Marcus Heard is seeking justice and a thorough investigation following his mysterious death on April 19th while in Lyon County police custody.

Heard, a Kansas City Black man and father of six infant children, was found unresponsive in his cell at 10:40pm on Tuesday, April 19th. Detention officers reported that he was the only person in his cell and report to have called an ambulance and immediately began performing CPR. The CPR did not work, they allege, and he was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Lyon County Police allege his death was caused by self-inflicted harm. 

Marcus’ mental and physical health was examined by the Detention Center Nurse upon his entry into the facility – the screening included questions about potential self-harm, of which they determined he displayed no indication he would do so. 

After viewing Marcus’ body, his family told The Defender they “definitely noticed something out of the ordinary, it looked like there was a boot print or something on the side of his face and his face was swollen.” 

Over 1055 people were killed by cops in the U.S. last year, causing members of the public to draw comparisons between Marcus’ case and the tragic story of Sandra Bland in 2015. 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) has been assigned to investigate Heard’s death, as is required by state statute. Under the statute, KBI investigates all deaths of people who are in custody of a Kansas jail or prison. This applies to all cases except those where the inmate is regularly attended by a physician.

“He was a loving son, a loving cousin, a loving brother. There are so many missing pieces with this case and none of it makes sense. He was not suicidal,” Marcus’ mother Lenetia told The Defender. “It’s so overwhelming, it’s like a nightmare, when are we going to wake up from it?”

This is a developing story.

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