Important resources to help you navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Wisconsin
Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Sheriff’s Office investigating death of man at Mental Health Complex

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Wednesday, October 10th issued a statement regarding the death of 25-year-old Brandon Johnson, who died Saturday after his admission to Milwaukee County’s Mental Health Complex. Sheriff Clarke says he wants to know how Johnson broke his neck.

Johnson died three days after he was admitted to the Mental Health Complex. His death was the fifth at the Complex this year.

An autopsy done at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office indicates that Johnson died of a broken neck that caused a blood clot to form in his leg that went into his lung, causing him to die of a pulmonary embolism.

Johnson’s family told FOX6 News they believe Johnson was denied medical help at the Complex. Johnson’s family told FOX6 News Johnson had reported he lost feeling in his legs on Thursday, but was denied medical help.

“He was neglected. He was crying out for help and for the nurse to say ‘I didn’t believe him — that’s just what they do around here’ — that’s not following proper procedures,” Johnson-Lewis said.

After speaking with Milwaukee County’s Medical Examiner, Johnson’s aunt says Johnson suffered injuries to his neck and back leading to blood clots in his legs. Those blood clots reportedly made their way to Johnson’s lungs — leading to his death.

“They killed my son,” Johnson’s mother, Alesha Johnson said.

Johnson is the fifth patient to pass away at the Mental Health Complex this year.

“There is something wrong with that. It definitely needs to be investigated,” Johnson-Lewis said.

Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Administrator Paula Lucey issued the following statement to FOX6 News: “The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division takes the health and safety of all of our patients very seriously. Like we do in all deaths, we are working with the proper authorities to make sure this incident is fully investigated.”

While Johnson’s family says the Medical Examiner had determined blood clots to be the cause of Johnson’s death, they had not determined the manner of his death. Johnson’s family says the Medical Examiner’s Office had not ruled out homicide.

Sheriff Clarke says Johnson was taken to the Complex via Milwaukee police following their response to a home after the report of a man with mental health issues behaving irrationally.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Johnson’s death.

Related stories:

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.