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Family of Lisa Edwards retains civil rights attorney

Devon M. Jacob has represented families in cases involving people like George Floyd, Pamela Turner, EJ Bradford and many others.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The family of Lisa Edwards, who died after she became unresponsive in the back of a Knoxville Police Department cruiser and died the next day, has retained an attorney known for representing families in high-profile cases across the U.S.

Devon M. Jacob has helped represent families in cases involving people like George Floyd, Pamela Turner, EJ Bradford, Hunter Brittain and Christian Hall. In 2022, he was added to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. His practice focuses on law enforcement, corrections and prosecutorial misconduct.

"While Ms. Edwards was in the custody of the police department and hospital, they had a duty to protect her life," he said in a release. "Instead, the hospital kicked her out and police officers used their police power to tease and taunt her while deliberately denying her access to necessary emergency medical care. This caused her medical condition to rapidly decline and led to a medical emergency that resulted in her death."

Edwards' family previously said they were considering filing a lawsuit after Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said she wouldn't press charges in her death because she said nothing criminal happened.

On Friday, the CEO of Covenant Health, Jim VanderSteeg, also spoke about the death of Lisa Edwards. His statement is below.

"I'm sad, my family's sad. We're sad for the family. I literally pray for them, I hate that this happened. I will tell you we are investigating this thoroughly in our company. The one thing I would say is that obviously, there's a film and I'm more than disappointed in the way that an individual was treated, in terms of verbally. We do not accept that at Covenant Health. Our desire is to treat everybody with dignity and respect, and at that moment, some of the things I heard were not giving that respect. So, that's unacceptable for us. And I can assure you, we're dealing with it. Beyond that, we're doing a full investigation. Patients are first to Covenant Health — that's why we exist."

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