MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Friends, family, local officials, loved ones and well-wishers said goodbye to Raynette Turner at her funeral on Friday, after she was found dead in police custody on July 27.
Dozens crowded into the Holy Tabernacle Church on Friday morning to say goodbye to the mother of eight, who was found by police in her holding cell at the Mount Vernon Police Department after she was arrested over the weekend of July 24, narrowly missing the cutoff to see a judge before Monday, and passed away while awaiting arraignment.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken over the investigation into Turner’s death, acting under an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month that grants him the power to investigate “certain matters involving the death of an unarmed civilian, in custody or not, caused by a law enforcement official.
Turner, 42, had a history of hypertension and had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. Initial autopsy reports were inconclusive as officials await results of toxicology and microbiology reports to determine the official cause of death. Mount Vernon Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Burke has stated that “no foul play” is suspected in her death.
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis, who stopped by the Holy Tabernacle Church to pay his condolences to Turner’s family before the funeral, said that city officials will remain quiet about her death as Schneiderman’s investigation continues.
“We have made every effort to keep the dialogue open surrounding Mrs. Turners’ death and have answered, to the best of our ability, questions put forth by those concerned,” he stated. “Please remain mindful that the investigation is continuing. Every effort will be put forth by this administration to make sure that the death is investigated in a manner that is comprehensive and thorough.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.