Families of men who died in custody of Racine County Jail demand transparency

NOW: Families of men who died in custody of Racine County Jail demand transparency

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two men died in the Racine County Jail just days apart, and now their families are demanding answers about their deaths.

Wednesday afternoon, June 9, a rally outside the Racine County courthouse brought the families and community activists together.

The pregnant fiancé of one of the men, and the mother of another, gave emotional pleas for answers. 

They want to know how Malcolm James and Ronquale Scott died in custody just days apart.

"I want you all to know my son Malcolm mattered to me," said mother Sherry James. "I loved him dearly and I miss him so much."

The mother of 27-year-old Malcolm James says her son called 911 for help and ended up dying in the jail.

His death happened just days after the death of 22-year-old Ronquale Ditello Scott Jr. in the same jail.

No cause of death for either man has been released.

The Kenosha County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation, but the families and activists say they don't want that.

They're calling for the Department of Justice to take over the case, and they want all evidence made public immediately.

"We are demanding that the Racine County Sheriff's Department, that they quickly hand over video footage, that they hand over reports, that they hand over every piece of evidence and that they would do a formal communication with these families," said Kelly Scroggins-Powell, executive director of Racine Women for Racial Justice.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the Racine County Sheriff's Office said they are awaiting the final results of the autopsies and the conclusion of the investigation by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office.

They add when it's appropriate, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling will speak.

The sheriff asks for patience and peace during these sensitive times.

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