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No charges filed in death of Duval inmate after jailhouse fight

Daniel Taylor in a family photo with sisters NaTasha, top left, and Noel, bottom right, along with mother Colleen and dog Mojo.
Taylor family
Daniel Taylor in a family photo with sisters NaTasha, top left, and Noel, bottom right, along with mother Colleen and dog Mojo.

No charges will be filed in the death of Daniel Taylor, a Duval County man who died one week after an altercation with guards at the Duval County jail last year left him hospitalized.

"After a thorough review of this incident and contributing expert medical opinions, our office will not pursue criminal charges on law enforcement or fire and rescue personnel in the death of Daniel Taylor," the State Attorney's Office for the 4th Circuit said in a statement Thursday.

Prosecutors also released a report outlining their investigation and conclusion. It comes more than a year after Taylor's death on Aug. 20, 2021.

Taylor had been arrested for misdemeanor trespassing in the early hours of Aug. 13 and, after a no-contest plea, was to be released later that day for time served.

According to state attorney's report, Taylor was able to obtain and ingest a cocktail of drugs including amphetamines and meth during the 12 hours he was in custody of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and became combative after being instructed to go into a temporary cell.

After an altercation that involved nearly a dozen officers and ended with Taylor being sedated with ketamine by the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, he went into cardiac arrest. He died one week later.

An autopsy Aug. 21 concluded that Taylor's death was not caused by injuries sustained in the fight or the ketamine he was given. However, the Duval medical examiner still ruled his death a homicide, citing the altercation with guards as a contributing factor in his heart failure.

JSO, which was investigating whether their own officers were responsible for Taylor's death, requested a second opinion from the Polk County medical examiner, claiming that the Duval medical examiner conclusion was "inconsistent" with "other similarly situated in-custody-deaths."

That request, made this year, contributed to the length of the investigation.

The outside forensic pathologist concluded that Taylor's death was accidental, caused by physical exertion and the drugs in his system.

According to the State Attorney's Office the second opinion was requested "given the complex nature of the medical evidence."

"In light of these conflicting medical opinions," the state attorney's report reads, and their determination that officers did not use excessive force, prosecutors "will take no further action in this matter."

A spokesman for the state attorney said other investigations continue into Taylor's case.

"As to not influence those reviews, this report will serve as our office's public comment at this time," they said in an email.

Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.