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Disabled man held at Baltimore Central Booking dies

A 31-year-old disabled man who was being held at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Facility died Wednesday night.

Deniro Bellamy had turned himself in on a traffic violation, according to his brother, Zeke Bellamy, 27, of Pasadena. Central Booking is the first institution people are brought to after being arrested in the city and has seen a spike in assaults since the closure of the City Jail in July 2015.

A corrections spokesman said that Deniro Bellamy was in a holding cell with other inmates when guards found him collapsed around 9 p.m. He said correctional officers attempted to perform CPR, and Bellamy was taken to the emergency room of Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The death is being investigated by internal affairs, but “our early indication is that there was no foul play,” said corrections spokesman Gerard Shields. It is at least the second death there in recent years.

Bernice Mitchell, a 53-year-old woman, died at Central Booking in December 2016. Her family members complained that they were not told of her death until days after it happened, and that they were left in the dark about crucial details leading up to it.

Like Mitchell’s family members, Deniro Bellamy’s brother said he has been given little information about his brother’s death, and that officials provided inconsistent stories about what happened.

After hearing about his brother’s death Wednesday night, Zeke Bellamy said he rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he found staff were “very secretive” about what had happened to his brother. He said he was not permitted to see the body before it was taken to the medical examiner’s office.

“I pretty much begged them to let me see my brother,” said Bellamy.

Shields said it is typical to not allow family members to see the body of their loved one until after it has been inspected by the medical examiner.

Zeke Bellamy said his brother had a mental disability and lived in a Randallstown group home called Emerge. He did not have a drivers license and had been driving illegally at the time of the traffic violation. Bellamy said he wants to know what happened in Central Booking, and most of all, he wants to just see his brother’s body.

“It’s horrible,” said Bellamy. “He’s all by himself. No family has been able to go down there and just give him a kiss or something.”

Baltimore Sun reporters Kevin Rector and Michael Dresser contributed to this article.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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