teen, Tennessee, mother, youth center

Teen Dies After Allegedly Being Body Slammed At Care Facility Near Memphis

The teen girl was a sexual assault survivor who was receiving care at the facility.

A family is calling for accountability from a care facility in Tennessee as they mourn the loss of their teen daughter, Alegend Jones, due to alleged abuse.

According to 25 News Now, the claims, which the facility has denied, alleged Jones was told to remove her clothes in front of two male counselors at the health department of Youth Villages in Bartlett, Tennessee, just outside of Memphis. The 17-year-old was being cared for at the nonprofit organization; however, Jones’ mother, Shona Garner, said the Youth Villages did not protect her daughter as she was receiving care. Garner was told there was an incident involving her daughter and two male counselors at the care facility on Nov. 16. The full details of the incident were not disclosed to the mother, leading her to call civil rights attorney Ben Crump to help her get answers. 

According to the outlet, Jones was a sexual assault survivor who was receiving care at the facility. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, manic depression, and bipolar disorder. The altercation occurred when Jones allegedly refused to remove her clothing in front of the two men. 

“She did not want to take off her clothes in front of two male counselors,” Crump said on behalf of the 17-year-old victim.

After hearing the news that her daughter was slammed for not following the instructions of the counselors, Garner said police were contacted. 

“I wasn’t ready to pull the plug, but when I seen her brain coming out of her eyes, I said it’s time for my baby to go,” Garner said after observing the state of her daughter following the altercation.

In response to the allegations, the center released a statement.

“Many of the statements and comments circulating publicly about this incident are false and inaccurate. There were no abusive or otherwise inappropriate interactions directed toward the young person,” Youth Villages said.

The center claims Jones’ death was the result of a medical emergency. 

Youth Villages said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of a child following a medical emergency that occurred at one of our campuses two weeks ago. We care about every young person that we help. We are heartbroken by this event, and our thoughts are with the child’s family in this difficult time.”

Garner said the statements made by the center are untrue, and she is fighting for justice. Attorney Crump said a brain bleed caused the teen’s death. However, Youth Villages said protocols were promptly implemented when it became evident Jones was experiencing a medical emergency. According to the center, Emergency Medical Service were contacted and “arrived on-site within minutes.” 

“The young people in our care are continually supported by physicians, nurse practitioners, and nursing staff. Medical staff, including a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and EMT, were on-site during the incident,” the facility’s statement said.

No further information has been revealed to determine whether an autopsy has been performed. As the investigation continues, Youth Villages said they are cooperating with investigators.

Funeral services for Jones are set for Dec. 9.

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