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A Video Showing Deputies Laughing While a Prisoner Overdoses Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Rather than seeking medical attention for an inmate, 3 sheriff's deputies made jokes at his expense.

|||Screenshot via The OregonianScreenshot via The OregonianBryan Perry served in the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged and even awarded a Purple Heart. In November 2016, Perry was arrested in Clackamas County, Oregon, on a warrant for a probation violation. According to a lawsuit filed by Perry's family, the arresting detective suspected that Perry was high. Perry was flailing about uncontrollably, leading sheriff's deputies to place him in a padded cell. Now, three deputies are facing a wrongful death suit and backlash for their subsequent conduct.

Four hours after arriving at the jail, Perry was found unresponsive and in cardiac arrest. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead the next day from methamphetamine toxicity. A lawsuit from his family alleges that the deputies and the medical staff, who work for the Tennessee-based contractor Corizon Health Inc., failed to give Perry proper medical attention. Rather than giving him care, Deputies Ricky Paurus, Lacey Sandquist, and Matrona Shadrin chose to make jokes about his condition while recording him through a window of the cell. The lawsuit alleges that they "callously disregarded" Perry's safety through negligence.

(Content warning: Disturbing images)

"The laughter, substance, and tone of several comments heard from my employees in that video were inappropriate, and do not conform to our professional standards," Sheriff Craig Roberts wrote in a statement that was released on Thursday. He expressed his "sincere condolences to Mr. Perry's family on their loss." Additionally, he announced that Shadrin, the deputy who filmed Perry, resigned. Paurus and Sandquist received an unspecified punishment.

Jails and prisons have proven terrible at treating drug users in their custody. Rhode Island is currently the only state that provides methadone, buprenorphine, and Vivitrol (naltrexone) to all of its inmates. As a result of proper drug screening and distribution of these medicines, opioid overdose deaths in the state's incarcerated population have dropped by nearly two-thirds. Additionally, the program increases the likelihood that former inmates will continue treatment and avoid future arrests. In the absence of such treatment, data has shown that there is no correlation between imprisonment and lower drug use.

Bonus link: A Cleveland judge will refuse to send people to the Cuyahoga County Jail after six inmates died in custody over the span of four months.

Photo Credit: Screenshot via The Oregonian

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  • Don't look at me!||

    Sick.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    This sort of behavior is promoted due to the coddling provided by democrat unions. Public employees are not entitled to unions.

  • BigT||

    They put him in a cell and left him alone.
    They laughed.
    Were they required by law to diagnose him or contact health Dept? If not, I don't see a crime, only assholishness.

  • DiegoF||

    Is the state responsible for the medical care of people in their custody? Yes. That is the nature of custody. That is the responsibility they take on. People in custody are not in a state of liberty and responsibility for themselves. This guy may not be the most sympathetic example, having previously come to this life-threatening situation through his own decision, but that does not mean the state can just leave him to his fate like that. Who is to say, for example, that this gentleman would not have gotten himself to medical care on the outside. Because that was not a possibility for him, it must be for the state.

  • Agammamon||

    Yes they were. Providing medical care is one of the responsibilities, one of the *legal* responsibilities, of jailers.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Yes, jackass, they are required by law to care for those in their custody.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's a rough video to see. Pure anguish. I can't imagine watching as it's happening.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It helps if you imagine yourself as a public servant. That way you can see people as either resources or obstacles to pursuing the state's policies, and treat them accordingly.

  • perlchpr||

    Worse, can you imagine watching it happening and laughing at the person suffering?

    What the fuck kind of monsters are these that we're hiring to run these places?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Remember: psychopaths are born, sociopaths are made. Better to ask, what kind of training, indoctrination, and leadership do these fuckers get so that they become like this. I doubt very many people join the law enforcement community so that they can legally abuse and murder people. A few, most certainly, but not the majority. Look at how hard it is for military organizations to train their recruits / conscripts to murder a fellow human. I think that the vast majority go in sincerely wanting to help people. Power is a hell of a drug.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    (Content warning: Disturbing images)

    Trigger warnings? Really? From a libertarian rag? Puhleese.

  • Agammamon||

    Content warning - not trigger warning. Different things.

  • Echospinner||

    That came from you tube.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Just goes to show you how many technology ignorant people there are. Plus there's nothing wrong with the warning; aka don't worry too much about idiot comments, they're pretty common.

  • DajjaI||

    Little you can do with a meth overdose. Probably they were told to let him sweat it out. Sad but hopefully a learning opportunity.

  • Rossami||

    Actually, there's quite a lot you can do for a methadone overdose. Standard treatments include the administration of activated charcoal, fluids by IV, breathing tube if necessary, chemical antidotes to reverse the symptoms and sometimes even a gastric lavage. All treatments that are routine an any large emergency room.

    So no, I do not believe anyone of medical competence "told them to let him sweat it out." This was more than "sad" - it was criminal.

  • Agammamon||

    Meth, not methadone.

  • Echospinner||

    Yup.

    Drugs to treat the seizures. Monitor for arrhythmias common in methamphetamine overdose. Even if he had gone into cardiac arrest at the hospital his chance of survival would be much higher. They waited four hours until he was finally in cardiac arrest before they called EMS.

    The defense will argue that the jailers are not medical experts. They are not. Nor is there an antidote for methamphetamine. That will not hold hold up. You can hear one of them saying that good we got him in here before this started, then the laughter and other comments. No way a jury is going to see this and not award for the plaintiffs. Any layman can see he is in serious trouble.

    Plus the plaintiffs will point to his Purple Heart, PTSD which is known to be associated with drug abuse because of the trauma suffered as a soldier. He will be shown to be a wounded warrior suffering from his combat experience.

    This will not go to trial. The attorneys will dicker around for awhile until there is a settlement.

  • perlchpr||

    I hope it does go to trial. I hope it goes to trial and the family refuses to settle and those assholes end up in jail themselves. More of that needs to happen. A lot. Or there are the options available from your local tree-trimming supply company...

  • Wise Old Fool||

    It won't, the police always get away with this stuff unless they pull the trigger and then they have a 99% chance of getting away with it.

  • perlchpr||

    Haldol, for one.

    Yeah. This human being likely would not have died, if instead of using their telephones to record his death throes, they had used them to call the fucking paramedics.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    It's basically murder to let someone have drug induced fit in front of you and ignore it while laughing at the person.

  • Jerryskids||

    "The laughter, substance, and tone of several comments heard from my employees in that video were inappropriate, and do not conform to our professional standards,"

    "The standing around with the thumbs up the ass while a man dies is SOP, however, so we're good on that part."

  • OEPYZ||

    www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/us/.....-neck.html

    Cops leave guy with broken neck to die in cell

  • Juice||

    It's military veterans all the way down.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    regular civilians die at the hands of police all the time too.

  • majil||

    Example # 24,351 why we should cheer when cops are shot in the face.
    This man was a combat veteran . He should get a wide berth

  • Texasmotiv||

    This feels like more than just a couple bad apples. I think there is something instrinsic to how we dehumanize prisoners that trains corrections officers to treat inmates like this. It's a good window into how a normal soldier ends up throwing a Jew into a gas chamber.

    I have been inside jails before and have seen first hand how disassociated and downright middle-school-level cruel corrections officers become. It's just because any normal person put into a system like that has to treat it all like a joke to be able to get through it, and they get off on the power.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    it's been like this for decades, it's just caught more now because everyone has a video recording device in their pocket.

  • Echospinner||

    Looked up the wiki page for Corozon health, the medical contractor. Largest prison medical provider in the country. Revenues of 1.5 billion. They have been sued for malpractice 660 times as of 2016.

    Obviously they don't care. The malpractice insurance is just the cost of doing business. Same for the county.

    Either way the money is not going to replace him. The insurance companies will take the hit and just pass it on in premiums which you and I pay for.

    The public doesn't care either. One less meth head.

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    FFS everyone with any heart knows that the only jail experiences/treatment that are okay to laugh and cheer about are jail rape and when one evil inmate kills another because of his exercise of moral superiority over their relative offenses. How uncivilized to cross that line.

  • Teecrafter||

    Michele Quantele Smiley, a young woman and mother of six children, recently arrested in Asheville, NC for probation violation was afraid she would be charged with methamphetamine possession too, so she swallowed the meth. While she was in the jail she begged for help, told them she had swallowed a large quantity of meth, but the jailers stuck her alone in a holding cell and ignored her as she began flailing her limbs in a frenzy and screaming for medical attention. They ignored her while she went into cardiac arrest and died a horrible death. I count this a felony homicide. Oh, they finally got around to taking her to the hospital, but she was DOA. A video was made but the sheriff, Van Duncan, refuses to release it.

  • Teecrafter||

  • gphx||

    Not sure I can feel sorry for someone who swallowed all his meth so the cops wouldn't find it.

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