OXON HILL, Md. - The family of Natasha McKenna says they believe jailhouse video showing the naked, mentally ill inmate being taken down by Fairfax County deputies was edited before it was released to the public.
McKenna, 37, died in February after an encounter with a team of deputies who were trying to remove her from her cell. During the struggle, McKenna was shot several times with a stun gun.
For Alex and Vaughn, brother and sister of McKenna, many questions remain about her death. They spoke exclusively with FOX 5’s Allison Seymour and asked us not to use their full names.
"Just because she was schizophrenic and bipolar does not mean she was an animal, does not mean she should have been treated that way,” said Vaughn.
"We really wanted the world to know really what's going on, and the picture they are trying to paint of my sister is really kind of disturbing to me. She was really a nice lady,” Alex said.
McKenna’s siblings decided to break their silence after Fairfax County authorities announced there would be no charges filed in connection with her death.
"I was sick. I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it. I still can't believe it,” Vaughn said.
Even more disturbing to the family is the release of the 45-minute video showing McKenna’s long struggle with deputies.
“So you saw the tape when we all saw the tape, and your reaction to that was what?” asked FOX 5’s Allison Seymour.
“Faint. I hit the dresser, knocked one of my tooth out. I was shocked. The whole family was shocked. We was devastated,” said Vaughn. “She wasn’t as bad as they want everyone to think that she was.”
The family says they believe the tape was edited before it was made public last week on YouTube.
"It's a lot of things that they didn't show also -- like the black eyes, like how was her finger missing. What happened to that? It's just so much stuff I want the public to be aware of,” Vaughn said.
A medical examiner ruled the death accidental, specifically by excited delirium associated with use of restraints and a stun gun. McKenna's schizophrenia was listed as a contributing factor.
McKenna’s brother and sister just want the world to know how much she meant to them.
"She was a sweet girl, period. She took care of her daughter. She did what she was supposed to do. She was a good person,” Vaughn said.
FOX 5 reached out to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office for a response to the family’s allegations. They said the sheriff’s office released the entire video of the incident, and the only editing that was done was adding pixelation to respect McKenna’s privacy.
The case remains the subject of a federal civil rights investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.