Family seeks damages after inmate dies in custody of Harris County Sheriff’s Dept.

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HOUSTON – An inmate died in the custody of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, and now his family is seeking damages.

The department was cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury in February, but now Kenneth Lucas’s girlfriend (and mother of two of his four children) has hired attorneys and filed a suit.

“ He was a wonderful man … and he will be missed,” Cassandra Salcido told reporters on Tuesday morning.

Jeff Edwards, Salcido's lawyer, says Lucas had anxiety and depression, and he was arrested last February for keeping his other two kids too long after a custody visit.

"The basis of his jailing with simply that he wanted to be with his children a bit longer than was deemed appropriate," says Edwards.

Edwards says that while the Lucas was behind bars in Harris County Jail, guards saw him making a weapon out of a smoke detector, and they used excessive force in response. He shared a 20-minute video of the encounter that Sheriff Adrian Garcia had previously made public.

According to the medical examiner's office, Lucas had a heart attack and his death was ruled a homicide.