India Cummings’ mother speaks as family sues 72 Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies


The family of India Cummings is suing 72 Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies. 

Cummings died after being held at the Erie County Holding Center in 2016. She was arrested for allegedly hijacking a car in Lackawanna.

Her family members allege that deputies failed to provide Cummings with emergency psychiatric and medical care and “criminalized” her mental illness by lodging more charges against her. 

“My prayer and my goal is for not another India to come through that holding center,” said Tawana Wyatt, Cummings’ mother. 

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court states that Cummings became malnourished and dehydrated as holding center staff “literally watched her die” over 20 days in February 2016. 

“Why? How can 72 individuals come in contact with somebody who definitely needed some type of hospitalization,”  Wyatt said. 

The lawsuit is in addition to one filed by the Cummings family against Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard and 12 other defendants.

“I don’t wish bad on no one but in the event of the suffering that my daughter, the suffering she endured being up under the watch of these people, these people that’s supposed to have her safety in mind first or foremost, I just pray that they be brought to justice,” said Wyatt. 

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