By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston announced that a Coroner’s Jury reached a finding in the February 8, 2019 death of 50-year-old Steven Kenneth Hankins, who was homeless and in the custody of the Concord Police at the time. The finding of the jury is that the death is an accident.
The Coroner’s Jury yesterday reached the 12-0 verdict after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by the hearing officer, Matthew Guichard.
According to authorities, police were called to the Concord Homeless Shelter at 2047 Arnold Industrial Way where Hankins was yelling and being violent. He was still “acting erratically and being violent” after police arrived, they said. After struggling with police, Hankins showed signs of medical distress. He became unresponsive and police attempted to revive him. Paramedics were called and after they arrived Hankins was declared dead at the scene.
A preliminary coroner’s report found Hankins had a “high concentration of methamphetamine” in his system, according to Concord Police spokesperson Lt. Mike Kindorf.
A Coroner’s Inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving police officers, is a public hearing, during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members can choose from the following four options when making their finding: accident, suicide, natural causes or at the hands of another person, other than by accident.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.