KESQ News in New York reports that on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the mother of a 35-year-old Black inmate has filed a lawsuit against the State of New York and more than 30 corrections officers for the wrongful death of her son.
The victim’s mother filed suit against state prison authorities and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The fatal incident happened at the Metropolitan Detention Center in June, where the victim was placed in solitary confinement. The victim in the case had been at the detention facility since October 2019.
On June 3, the victim began to have a severe mental health or physical health crisis and had been yelling for help for hours. The victim kept telling corrections officers that he was experiencing chest pains and could not breathe.
Instead of aiding the victim, correctional officers sprayed him down with several cans of pepper spray directly onto his head while he was in his locked cell.
Court documents allege that “Because of the grossly excessive use of force, Mr. (the victim) collapsed and experienced a life-threatening heart condition.”
It is also alleged that correctional officers failed to call for emergency assistance or medical attention but instead strapped his now limp body into a restraint chair.
By the time medical assistance was given to the victim, all attempts to revive him failed. The victim never regained consciousness.
A forensic examination has been called. The final results of the autopsy report have not yet been revealed.
The Department of Justices’ Office of the Inspector General is expected to launch an inquiry into the cause of the victim’s death.