BSO: Investigation concludes in deputies’ involvement in inmate’s death

The Broward Sheriff's Office has concluded that no employee caused the death of an inmate in 2021.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The investigation into if Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were responsible for the death of an inmate in their custody has reached the final conclusion after multiple investigations were conducted, according to BSO.

Now, BSO has said that with all of the authoritative boards finishing their reviews, the last one by the Professional Standards Committee, no further action will be taken in the death of Kevin Lavira Desir in January of 2021.

“Even though the internal and independent investigations conducted by BSO, the Medical Examiner’s Office and State Attorney’s Office determined no employee caused Kevin Desir’s death or violated any policy, it doesn’t negate the great loss felt by his family and friends,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.

On Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, Desir was hospitalized in the male infirmary at the North Broward Bureau after cutting himself while housed at the jail.

After BSO detention deputies removed Desir from the cell to assess his injuries and render aid, deputies said he became extremely violent by pulling away, kicking and spitting, according to BSO.

According to the investigation, Desir injured one of the deputies by biting him and it was then deputies placed him in a restraint chair “for his safety and the safety of staff.” While deputies tried to restrain him in the chair, he continued to move about violently until becoming unresponsive and was removed from the restraint chair, according to the report.

Deputies immediately began CPR, and jail medical staff took over resuscitation efforts, BSO stated.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue transported Desir in critical condition to Broward Health North.

Desir, 43, was arrested on Jan. 13 on charges of marijuana possession and criminal mischief. His family said they removed him from life support on Jan. 27, ten days after the altercation inside the jail.

According to BSO:

  • Following Desir’s death, per BSO policy, the Internal Affairs Division and Homicide Unit initiated investigations.
  • Homicide detectives reviewed the case for any possible criminal charges.
  • BSO’s Criminal Investigation Division submitted its findings and evidence to the Broward State Attorney’s Office on June 2, 2021.
  • The State Attorney’s Office closed its case earlier this year and did not file any charges.

According to BSO, in a closeout memo dated Feb. 2, 2022, Assistant State Attorney Christopher Killoran wrote, “…this matter is hereby closed with no criminal charges filed against any of the BSO employees involved in this altercation. While the death of Inmate Desir is tragic, the facts of this case do not support any criminal charges being filed.”

In February of 2021, the Broward State Attorney sent a letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement requesting an independent investigation into the death Desir.

BSO’s internal the Use of Force Review Board reviewed the case at its meeting held on March 15, 2022, and concluded the force used in the case complied with BSO policies and procedures.

On April 13, 2022, the Professional Standards Committee reviewed the findings and recommended no further action.

The inmate’s family held a news conference a month after Desir’s death to call out what they said was the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s “cover up.” In February, a Broward County judge ruled that video related to the death of Desir could be released to the family attorneys, but not to the public.

About the Authors:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.